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St. Gaudens' Statute of Lincoln, in Lincoln Park, Chicago. 




No. i. 




Author of "Mormonism and the Mormons/' 
"Search Lights," "Studies in Revela- 
tion," "Washington." 

'We cannot escape history." — Lincoln. 

"He was a leader without seeming to be. * * * 
He died as he had lived, a great Statesman." 

— Chief Justice Waite. 

"The Pericles of the American Republic." — 

— Goldwin Smith. 

"He was the greatest man I ever knew." 

— U. 8. Grant. 

"A great man, — great in what he did — even 
greater in what he was." — James Bryce. 

"Raised up by God, inspired of God was Abra- 
ham Lincoln ; and a thousand years hence, no 
drama, no epic, will be read with greater interest 
than that which tells of his life and death." 

— Henry Watterson. 

"The name of Lincoln will remain one of the 

greatest that history has to inscribe on its pages." 

— D'Aubigne. 

Lincoln! "Mothers shall teach thy name to 
their lisping children. The youth of our land 
shall emulate thy virtues. Statesmen shall study 
thy record, and from it learn lessons of wisdom." 

— Bishop Simpson. 

January, Nineteen Hundred and Thirteen. 

Copyrighted by A. M. Bullock, 


First Edition. 



A few words of explanation are due the 
subscribers to " Lincoln." 

Mr. Bullock, who had put such faith- 
ful loving work in this book, did not live 
to see it published. He dropped by the 
wayside, literally, and I, his wife, took 
out of his dead hand a package containing 
photographs that he was about to send to 
the engravers for this work. I also took 
an unfinished page from his typewriter, 
and put it with the last pages of the copy 
to send to the printer. 

As no one but Mr. Bullock knew all 
the details of his plans for the finished 
book, it is impossible to escape making 
some mistakes, and I ask pardon for such 
from you, the subscribers to "Lincoln," 
" Friends who have made it possible to 
publish the book," as Mr. Bullock often 

We, my son and I, have done the best 
we could to carry out Mr. Bullock's 
plans so far as we knew them, and any 
failures are due to lack of understanding 
and not to lack of will. 

Georgia B, Bullock. 

Tenth New York Artillery," Comrades, 
living and dead; — to the Hon. Robert T. 
Lincoln; — to Egbert J. Scott, boyhood 
friend, who was captured at Chickamauga 
and died at Andersonville; — and to the 
lato Hon. Z. G. Simmons, honorary 
member of the National Encampment, 
G. A. R., and friend of the author in his 
early manhood, — this book is affectionately 



The weary form that rested not, 

Save in a martyr's grave; 
The care-worn face that none forgot, 

Turned to the kneeling slave. 

We rest in peace, where his sad eyes 

Saw peril, strife and pain ; 
His was the awful sacrifice, 

And ours, the precious gain. 

— Whittier. 


Carlyle once said : — "Had the carvers of marble 
chiseled a faithful statue of the Son of Man, and 
shown us what manner of man He was like, what 
His height, what was His build, and what the fea- 
tures of His sorrowing face, I for one would have 
thanked the sculptor with all the gratitude of my 
heart for the portrait, as one of the most precious 
heirlooms of the ages." It is well to bear in mind 
that the real character and mission of the Christ 
were but faintly understood while yet living. So in 
a minor sense contemporaries of great men cannot 
fully estimate the place these men are to occupy in 
the years to follow. 

A few men are living to-day who saw and knew 
Abraham Lincoln. These even did not know him 
then as they know him now. They were in the 
midst of whirling events, the full meaning of 
which could not then be understood. "God had 
built him in the back-yard of the Nation, and there 
wrapped in homely guise, had preserved and ma- 
tured his pure humanity." The exposure of years 
was needful to uncover his compelling and enduring 
greatness, and to rightly show that what was called 
grotesque and awkward was but the natural grace 
and ease of a man of conscious power, devoid of 
personal vanity. 

Photography has given us Lincoln, with features 
in mental action, in various moods and at great 
moments in his life. But no one sitting, however 
true to life at that particular time, can show the 
record of the life entire. Of the hundreds of pic- 


tures which appear all are not reliable. Some 
years ago I came into possesion of a picture pur- 
porting to be that of Lincoln. I had been familiar 
with Lincoln portraits of almost every type, but 
with this there was something which somehow 
seemed unnatural ; just what it was seemed diffi- 
cult for me to decide. The face and features fairly 
represented those of Lincoln, but aside from these 
it seemed unnatural. The dress, the attitude, the 
form and general posture and things otherwise did 
not seem to correspond. I could not help to ques- 
tion what it meant. At last I learned the secret. 
Some would be artist, who knew but little of the 
man, or cared but little, — a fake withal, who 
thought to gain a little money, had put the head of 
Lincoln onto the neck and body of John C. Calhoun. 
Such portraitures of Lincoln are not unknown in 
print. The following pages, it is hoped, will not 
thus be judged. They have been submitted for 
correction and criticism, as to matters of fact, to 
Robert T. Lincoln and Mr. Sweet, his long time 
private Secretary, who permitted the examination 
of manuscripts and original data and documents of 
the martyred President, and otherwise greatly fa- 
vored the author in his work. To these men and to 
many others who have interested themselves, and 
rendered valuable assistance, the author wishes to 
acknowledge himself thankfully indebted. 

A. M. Bullock. 


Mr. Bullock has written of Lincoln in a manner 
calculated to give the reader a new idea of the 
great President. The result of his research in pre- 
paring the work shows that he has pretty thor- 
oughly exhausted the subject. His familiarity 
with the antecedents of Lincoln ; his knowledge of 
the early life and surroundings of the boy, his 
parental home and a mother's invaluable help, are 
notably manifest. Lincoln's determination to ac- 
quire learning, his devotion to duty, his excep- 
tionally good qualities from childhood on, and his 
unyielding opposition to slavery — all prophetic of 
the man and the leader to be, are so told as to be 
of marked value to the young people of to-day. 
The picture of the man needed in the Nation's 
crisis ; the Lincoln-Douglas debates ; the nomina- 
tion of Lincoln for the Presidency, his great service 
through the War, his death and the summary of 
the man and his work, can but hold the closest at- 
tention of the reader, and must leave an impression 
that canot fail to be of real value to present day 
life and activities. 

Dr. Bullock makes it plain that Lincoln was a 
man of fine literary attainments, a leader, a states- 
man and an exemplary Christian. If I were able 
I should write of this portraiture of Lincoln as 
Dr. Warren has written, which is equivalent to 
saying I indorse what Dr. Warren says. 

It is a work that will live and work for the 
Nation's good for generations. 

J. A. Watrous, 
Lieutenant-Colonel, U. S. Army, retired. 



;' • ' '" : "* 




U. S. A. Retired. 


Each new moment of each new hour, new human 
lives are being added to our human family. Rapid 
as is the melting away of our citizenship at the 
summons of death, the oncoming of fresh recruits 
is yet more rapid. And what can the patriot more 
desire than to see the great characters and great 
lives of our country's history so depicted, and ever 
freshly re-depicted, that no generation of Ameri- 
cans, and no generation of their contemporaries in 
other lands, can ever fail to derive from those 
characters and lives a fitting inspiration. 

High and sacred is the task of those called to 
this ever new utilization of the past. Whoever 
really succeeds in transmitting and interpreting to 
successors the silenced voices of great pathfinding 
predecessors in world-leadership, and thus effec- 
tively contributes to ennoble the world's future by 
forces drawn from the world's past, achieves a 
work of more than temporal or spatial significance. 
He has won a place in the very laboratory of that 
Power Unseen, who upholds and governs the Uni- 

Among all the great lives which render our na- 
tional heritage luminous and inspiring, what one is 
more worthy of ever repeated study than that to 
whose portraiture the following pages are devoted? 
Gratitude should suffice to cause each future son 
of the Republic to acquaint himself with so great 
a benefactor. A Persian poet has said : 

Nothing adorns us humans 
More than humanity. 

In whom more than in Lincoln was humanity 
embodied? Is self-sacrificing altruism the crown- 
ing excellence and glory of humanity ; how it 
shines forth in him 

Whose mighty task was done 
Through blood and tears, that we might walk in 

Any honest study of the man who was known 
world-wide as the embodiment of honesty, has little 
need of commendatory introductions. 

The writer of the volume here given to the public 
has unusual qualification for the task he has un- 
dertaken. In not a few psychological peculiarities 
and principles of action he is akin to the man 
whom he has aimed to picture. Then he was him- 
self a soldier in those dark days of the Civil 
War, — one of the brave young men, who in answer 
to the call of the hard pressed President, promptly 
and valorously responded, — 

We are coming, Father Abraham, 
Three hundred thousand more ! 

He furthermore wields a practiced pen, and has 
previously made uncommonly extensive studies in 
the beginnings of our national history. With the 
Lincoln literature he has thoroughly familiarized 
himself ; and in his use of the material selected he 
ever keeps the personality of the central figure so 
in view that even young readers of history will be 
likely to be carried forward from the first page to 
the last by the charm of the heroic and personal 
touches continually coming to light. 

When Augustus Saint-Gaudens passed from 
earth, his friend, Richard Watson Gilder, solaced 


his own poignant grief by remembering that it had 
been the sculptor's high privilege to work with 
Lincoln as a subject, and so to link his name to 
one assured of immortality. These are his words: 

O fateful stars ! that lit the climbing way 

Of that dear, martyred son of fate and fame, — 

The supreme soul of an immortal day, — 

Linked with his name is our great sculptor's name ; 

For now in art eternal breathes again 

The gaunt, sweet presence of our chief of men — 

That soul of tenderness ; that spirit stern, 

Whose fires divine forever flame and burn. 

While yet living, my friend, the author of this 
book is to be congratulated on a like good fortune. 
He has linked his name to Lincoln's, and in an art 
more expressive than that of the sculptor, caused 
to breathe again 

The gaunt, sweet presence of our chief of men — 
That soul of tenderness ; that spirit stern 
Whose fires divine forever flame and burn. 

William Fairfield Wabren. 
Boston University. 

America has gained one more ideal character. 
He (Lincoln) has the wisdom which happily be- 
longs to a perfectly honest and simple character. 
He never was led by cupidity, vanity or selfishness 
of any kind. He had the result of a naturally 
sympathetic nature, a remarkable power of reading 
public sentiment and keeping himself in touch with 
what he called the common people. * * * He 
would have done nothing unconstitutional to effect 
immediate emancipation. He did not, as President, 
allow himself to be led into premature and illogical 


measures. But biding his time, with patient 

sagacity, he struck it, (slavery) deliberately and 

legally the blow of which it died. It struck him 

in return the blow which will make him live in the 

love of the Nation and of mankind forever. — 

Goldwin Smith. 

* * * 

Lincoln never posed or put on airs or attempted 
to make any particular impression. * * * He 
seemed to see every side of everything. He had 
the most comprehensive, the most judicious mind, 
least faulty in his conclusions, of any man I ever 
knew. * * * This unerring judgment, this patience 
which waited and which knew when the right time 
had arrived, is an intellectual quality that I do 
not find exercised upon any such scale, and with 
such unerring precision by any other man in 
history. * * * He developed into a great military 
man, that is to say, a man of superior military 
judgment. After three or four years of constant 
practice in the science and art of war he arrived 
at this extraordinary knowledge of it so that Von 
Moltke was not a better General, or an abler 
planner or expounder of a campaign than was 
President Lincoln. To sum it up he was a born 
leader of men. He knew human nature ; he knew 
what chord 1 to strike, and was never afraid to 
strike it, when he believed the time had arrived. 
— Charles A. Dana. 



Some years ago, in one of our Eastern cities, a 
guide was conducting a company of visitors through 
a celebrated Art gallery. Near the entrance of the 
gallery hung a large painting. Daubs of color here 
and there made that painting, near at hand, appear 
anything but comely and attractive. Said one of 
the visitors in passing: — "What an amateur piece 
of work ! what could have been the object in placing 
such a specimen in a gallery like this?" There were 
artists in that company ; but the remark passed un- 
heeded. The visitors strolled on, admiring now 
this, then that. Returning after a time on the 
opposite side of the gallery, and at some distance 
from the entrance, the one who had criticised the 
painting named, turned suddenly and said : — "Look 
there ! see that magnificent painting ! how did we 
come to miss it in passing?" Smiling, the guide 
responded : — "Why, madam, that is the 'amateur 
painting' noted as we entered." That painting was 
the work of a master artist, intended however, for 
a distant view. An Angelo, a Raphael, a Kaulbach, 
could comprehend the value of that rare painting 
near at hand, but to see its worth, and the blend- 
ing tints and harmony of its parts, it was needful 
for the untrained eye to see it from the distance. 

So it is at times with men and women of real 
worth and greatness. Fifty years ago or so, at the 
entrance way of our Civil War, there appeared a 


strange and unpretentious man, who, to the near- 
sighted and to the casual observer, seemed illy 
suited for the place of leadership assigned him in 
that eventful crisis. The few could see and did 
know his worth, but the masses, to understand, 
must see him in the focal light of deeds accom- 

We are apt to judge of men by the pleasing pres- 
ence, by the seemly face and symmetry of form, by 
what they wear and how they wear it; by what 
society calls genteel, and what the world calls 
bright and brilliant. We shun the haggard face, 
the graceless form, the awkward carriage, the sad, 
the sorrowing and the stricken. But could we see 
more clearly, and could we judge more accurately, 
the rough and repulsive exterior, like shells of 
oysters, like dingy sands, like rugged foothills, like 
treeless mountains, — would prove at times the way 
marks to the richest gems ; — to the Johannesburgs, 
the Melbournes, the Yosemites, the Gardens of the 
Gods in human history. 

The Seer of ancient Israel gives us a partial 
portraiture of some of the human qualities of the 
Son of Man : — "He shall grow up as a tender plant 
and as 1 a root out of a dry ground. * * * He hath 
no form nor comeliness ; and when we shall see Him 
there is no beauty that we should desire Him. * * * 
A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, and 
we hid as it were our faces from Him. * * * He 
was despised and we esteemed Him not. * * * He 
was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He opened 
not His mouth. * * * For the transgression of my 
people was He stricken. * * *" These were some 


of the human qualities and some of the character- 
istics of the sacred mission, of the matchless Son 
of man, — whose name was destined to stand above 
every name in all history ; and yet He was misun- 
derstood. It is true we understand these charac- 
teristics note in the converging light and facts of 
centuries. This portraiture, in a minor sense, is 
almost a photogravure of some of the great leaders 
in the world's history. 

It matters little how the externals may have ap- 
peared, men whose lives have been consecrated to 
the welfare of the race and coupled with great 
events never die. They may be buried and pass 
from mortal sight, but their deeds and thoughts 
and influence live in the hearts and memory of the 
world. So it has been, so it is and so it always will 
be. Such characters and names stand forth in bold 
relief and can no more be lost to historic record 
than the erosions of time can wear away the epochs 
in which they lived and wrought. In this record 
of enduring fame appears Abraham Lincoln. 

We seek to commemorate the work and charac- 
ter of this man. For him no claim is made for 
charm of face, or beau ideal of physical form ; for 
the aesthetic in person or in vesture; — for faultless 
dress, or stately carriage, or grace of bearing. No 
claim is made of influence, power or prestige from 
an illustrious ancestry ; — no claim of inherited 
wealth or place of honor. He was born in the 
cabin of a pioneer, and was reared in want and 
poverty. The surroundings of his early life and 
manhood were dark and forbidding and gave no 
promise of his future fame and greatness. 


Strange, indeed, appears the story of this man. 
Strange, I am persuaded, because the hand of God 
marked out the way, guarded the child, and led 
the boy, the man, in ways he did not know or un- 
derstand ; and when the crucial moment came 
raised him to supreme command and intrusted him 
with the destiny of the Nation. Only a mighty 
soul, inspired of God, could breast the adverse tides 
and stem the difficulties and the dangers which 
were in the way ; only a mighty soul, imbued with 
wisdom from on high, could take the helm when 
the storm of generations had gathered, and was 
already opening in its fury, and guide the Ship of 
State through the raging sea of strife, and anchor 
her at last in the harbor of united peace, — WITH 

Over and Underestimate of Men — Misconception. 

Sir William Taylor has said : — "The world 
knows not its greatest men." This conies about, 
sometimes, because there lacks the greatness of 
events to bring them out ; — sometimes, because of 
the dimness of the light ; — sometimes, because of 
toning up or toning down the facts of history, and 
adding to or taking from the background of the real 

Many indeed are the uncrowned kings of earth, 
unknown to wordly fame, but future kings unto 


our God, and destined, like the stars, to shine for- 
ever. From this point of view, I take it, Dr. 
Cuyler has said: — "In the sight of God, Lincoln 
was no more precious than the humblest drummer 
boy who bled away his young life on the sod of 
Gettysburg or Chattanooga." This declaration of 
Dr. Cuyler was no disparagement to Lincoln, but 
an earnest protest against the custom of hero- 
worship. There is a fashion of picturing men who 
come within the lime-light of great events as some- 
thing more than men. In this we do these men a 
wrong, — we do ourselves a wrong. Shakespeare 
puts into the mouth of Antony at the funeral of 
Caesar; — "The evil that men do lives after them, 
the good is oft interred with their bones." Biog- 
raphers and eulogists of our great men some- 
times take the opposite as their rule, picturing the 
good without spot or blemish, and losing sight en- 
tirely of frailties and defects. This may be gen- 
erous, but not just to historic record. It is not 
necessary to make our heroes demi-gods or to tres- 
pass upon the impossible. When we consider the 
talents and characteristics of our great men, as re- 
flected in their life and work, with visions unac- 
customed to the peculiar brightness, we are able 
to see only the salient points, jutting in the glamour, 
as something more than human, and to overlook 
our own high kinship and heritage. It is some- 
thing great, greater than we sometimes think, to be 
a man, and the undulations of greatness as we see 
them are only the outcroppings of God's image. 
It is only human that God somehow touches man 
and that man somehow touches God. "He made us 


a little lower than the angels and crowned us with 
glory and honor." There is ample scope, I am 
sure, within the limits of true manhood to give full 
weight and measure to the richest gems of human 
kind, even when we leave them in their proper 

Lincoln Intensely Human. 

Abraham Lincoln was a man of like passions 
with ourselves. It is not our purpose to deify him, 
or to hold him up as perfect and free from defects, 
— to strip him of those qualities which give us 
the feeling of attachment for him. He was one of 
ourselves. "He was human to the core."i He had 
qualities of mind and soul which made him equal 
to the best born of earth. He had those charac- 
teristics which made him one of the plain common 
people. He moved in touch with strongest, the 
highest and the best, and was never overmatched. 
He walked on a plain with the lowliest and was 
esteemed as their counsellor and their friend. He 
was the great American Commoner, the friend and 
the servant of the people. 

Who his ancestors were, or what his genealogy 
we may not question minutely here. Being asked 
concerning his grandfather, Lincoln himself once 
said : — "I am more concerned to know what his 
grandson will be."2 Enough for us to know that 

1 "Abraham Lincoln's greatness and worth lay in his 
simple manhood. So that the excuse that we offer lor 
the faults and failings of some great men : — 'They were 
only human,' was the very crown of his excellence. He 
was a whole man, human to the core of his heart." — 
Robert Collier. 

"Lincoln Memorial Album, p. 203. — Robert Collier. 



noble blood coursed in his veins, — the blood of 
the Puritan and of the Cavalier. Where or how 
he got his genius we may not query. Asi well 
might we inquire where Phidias, or Shakespeare, 
or Burns, or Mozart, got theirs. A well known 
teacher once said : — "What is ordinarily known as 
genius is but the result of application and hard 
work."3 I am persuaded that much of the halo 
gathering around our Lincoln has its solution here. 
He had his special qualities of mind and heart and 
mother wit. He was born with noble powers, with 
ideals and ambition to utilize those powers, a 
heart, a soul to govern and to rule. The times in 
which he lived and the school of experience through 
which he passed, rough and forbidding though they 
were, had their star of destiny and their ray of 
light and hope. But Divine wisdom and the hand 
of Providence can best explain the way from the 
shadows, the sorrows, and the trials of the lowly 
cabin to the Nation's Capitol and the martyr's 

The Men and the Spirit of '76. 

When Lincoln was born in Kentucky, only 
twenty-five had passed since the War for Inde- 
pendence. Veterans of Lexington, and Valley 
Forge, and Trenton and Yorktown, were in the 
land. The blood of Revolutionary fathers coursed 
in his veins. Washington had been dead less than 
ten years. The spirit of Colonial heroism was 
abroad. Adams and Jefferson and others were still 
alive. The heroes of the Revolution were the ideals 

3 Dr. Luther J. Jeronsens. 

of that generation. Lincoln revered the fathers 
and looked upon the Declaration and the Constitu- 
tion of the Nation as almost sacred. Washington 
was his ideal of a man, a patriot and a statesman. 
To this spirit of reverence for the great Declara- 
tion, for the Nation and its principles, together 
with his inborn hatred for slavery, may be traced, 
no doubt, the inspiration of the Emancipation Pro- 
clamation, which, perhaps above all other acts per- 
formed by him, has made his name imperishable in 
the history of the Nation and of the world. To- 
day, with nearly fifty years between us and his 
death, posterity offers at the shrine of Abraham 
Lincoln the universal tribute of true greatness, and 
pronounces him the "man for the times" in which 
he lived. 

God in History. 

Here we observe, if we look closely, the foot- 
prints of God are everywhere visible in human 
history. His eye is upon the world, and His hands 
upon the nations. In the centuries gone by He 
spoke through the prophet, a hundred and fifty 
years before Cyrus was born — "Thus saith the Lord 
to His annointed, to Cyrus whose right hand I have 
holden, to subdue nations before Him. I will give 
thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches 
of secret places, that thou mayest know that I am 
the Lord which call thee by thy name, even the 
God of Israel. * * * I will gird thee though 
thou hast not known me." 

When God wants men for some special work, He 
first endows them with the powers and qualities 
needed for the work He wants accomplished. He 


then puts them through a course of training and 
educates them for their special work. God wanted 
a man to lead the children of Israel out of Egyptian 
bondage. For forty years He leaves Moses at the 
court of Pharaoh, then takes him out into the 
rough and wild and barren desert of Arabia. There 
He further fits him for the work. Then He sum- 
mons him back to Egypt. So He did with Lincoln. 
His official training was in the wilds of Kentucky, 
amid pinching poverty in Indiana and on the virgin 
prairies of Illinois. When the time was fit, how- 
ever, and God was ready, He summoned him to the 
front. He placed in his hand the sceptre of author- 
ity, which he wielded with that ease, power and 
wisdom which astonished the world, and won for 
him immortal fame. 


In tracing the life of this illustrious man, a faith- 
ful portraiture requires that we keep in mind the 
times and places where he lived ; — his environ- 
ments, and those of the people with whom he 
mingled. Unity and just relations should be pre- 
served between the subject and his surroundings. 
To picture the early life of Washington, for in- 
stance, other than in a wild and sparcely settled 
colony, is to lose sight of the interspersed realities 
in which his genius, his wisdom, his greatness ap- 
peared, would be to lose sight of the real man. To 
speak of Lincoln as practically alone in the trials, 
and struggles and sorrows of his early life, savors 
more of romance than reality, makes the contrast 
out of place and deprives us of a kindred touch. 


The story of his early life has become inseparable 
from the rude and shabby and cheerless cabin 
where he was born, the pole shed, or "half faced 
camp," — as such were called, — where he lived 
awhile when a better home was being fitted up; — 
the low and open attic where he slept ; — the wooden 
pegs which served the purpose of a ladder ; — the 
bunks made of poles, and beds of boughs and leaves, 
with quilts and coverings of skins of wild beasts ; — 
coats and clothing made of the hides of wolves, and 
bears and deer ; — stools of slabs, tables of riven 
logs, earthen floors, and chimneys made of sticks 
and logs. But it savors of unreal life when we 
speak of these environments of want and penury, 
as something unusual in pioneer life, and as though 
in the case of Lincoln, they dropped down in the 
midst of plenty and in an old and settled country. 
There may be those who read this sketch, now aged 
and infirm, who, as pioneers, in the early days, 
built the one roomed shanties, chinked the cracks 
with sticks and mud, and covered them over with 
riven logs, or barks and boughs of trees, and lived 
long years with scanty means and plainest food, 
and thought it luxury when their larder was some- 
thing more than potatoes and salt, corn dodgers 
and the like. 

Especially were these conditions prevalent among 
the pioneers on the far frontier at the beginning of 
the last century. Then North-central Kentucky was 
on the extreme limits of civilization. The effect of 
the then recent barbarous and savage surroundings 
were still apparent in the rude hovels, primitive 
customs, the ignorance and uncouth manners of 

some of the early settlers. It were not strange If 
the Lincolns shared to some extent in parts of this 

The parents of Lincoln were poor ; but it was not 
the poverty of city slums and crowded rookeries, 
or that of sloth and shiftless loafers. It was the 
poverty of the American pioneer, out on the far 
frontier in the wilderness of the West. 


Thomas Lincoln and Nancy Hanks were married 
in Washington County, Kentucky, June 12th, 1806. 
The families of this couple had been attracted to 
these new lands by the alluring reports of Daniel 
Boone, and his adventures. They had emigrated 
from the Shenandoah Valley near the close of the 
eighteenth century, — Kentucky was then a part of 
Virginia. Abraham Lincoln, grand-father of the 
future President, and Daniel Boone were personal 
friends and were related by marriage and inter- 
marriage. This Lincoln when a young man went 
from the Shenandoah Valley to North Carolina. 
He was there married, and from thence removed 
with his family to Kentucky. 

The story of Lincoln's parentage and early life 
as told in a thousand volumes, booklets and pamph- 
lets and sometimes on the rostrum, is so often re- 
plete with misrepresentaions, incongruities and con- 
tradictions that it is no easy task to separate the 
truth from falsehood. Careless and unwarranted 
statements, and groundless tales, and ignorant as- 
sumptions have sometimes won belief among the 
credulous and uninformed, while scandal mongers, 


ever ready to imagine evil rather than good are 
always lurking to inflame the unwary and the evil 
minded. The lack of evidence, too, has been no 
small hindrance in ascertaining facts. The long 
hidden secrets of the Egyptian Sphynx may illus- 
trate, in a minor way, the confusion and miscon- 
ception touching Lincoln's ancestry ; — and even his 
own uncertainty concerning his parents' marriage 
have added to the confusion. We have it from au- 
thority which is beyond all question that Lincoln 
himself sought diligently, but in vain to discern the 
legal proof of his parents' marriage, but died with- 
out the proof positive that he was born in honest 
wedlock. He caused to be made a careful search 
of records in Hardin County, while since, it has 
developed that the marriage took place in another 
country and not in Hardin.4 It is now known that 
Jesse Head, a well to do minister of the Methodist 
Episcopal church performed the ceremony. Lin- 
coln's parents on both sides were of lineage of 
which he had no cause to be ashamed. 

The grand-father of Lincoln was fifth in line 
from one of the brothers who left Old England in 
1736 to rid themselves of an odious government. 
They founded the Hingham colony in the State of 
Massachusetts. The blood of a noble liberty loving 
ancestry coursed in the veins of Thomas Lincoln. 

* Statement to the author by Mr. Siceet, Robert Lin- 
coln's Priv. Sec'y. The following statement, given at 
Louisville, Ky., under oath may be noted : "I was present 
at the marriage of Thomas Lincoln and Nancy Hanks, in 
Washington County, Kentucky, near the town of Spring- 
field ; one Jesse Head, a Methodist preacher, performed 
the ceremony. I knew the said Thomas Lincoln and 
Nancy Hanks well, and knew the said Nancy Hanks to 
have been virtuous and respectable, and of good parent- 
age." — Christopher Columbus Graham. 


His ancestors were among the Puritans of Massa- 
chusetts, the Friends of Pennsylvania and the Cava- 
liers of the South, while General Lincoln of Revolu- 
tionary fame, and the two Governors Lincoln of 
Massachusetts were of the same blood and lineage, 
as was also Att'y General Lincoln in Jefferson's 

Nor was the ancestry of Nancy Hanks less worthy 
and respected. Back in English history the Com- 
moners' rights were awarded, it is claimed, to a 
couple of brothers by the name of Hanks because 
of valiant service rendered in war against the 
Danes. The deed of title was signed by the grand- 
son of Alfred the Great. A grandson of one 
Thomas Hanks, a descendant of one of the above, 
who fought for the Commonwealth under Cromwell, 
came to America in 1699, Joseph Hanks by name. 
Benjamin Hanks, the fifth in line, moved south 
and westward from the Shenandoah with the tide 
of emigration. They were prosperous townfolk. 
Four years later the father and mother died leav- 
ing Nancy, the youngest child, an orphan at the age 
of nine years. The latter found a home with an 
uncle and aunt, her mother's sister. It is interest- 
ing to scan the history and incidentally note the 
will of Joseph Hanks which settles once and for all 
the parentage of Lincoln's mother as also her 
worthy, upright and stainless character^ 

There is a hidden secret in the story of Lincoln 
which it is well we do not overlook. His father 
Thomas was the youngest of five children in his 

6 Jefferson's Attorney General was of this family and 
refused a place on the Supreme Bench of U. S. — Watter- 


father's family. When Thomas was hut six years 
of age he was with his father in the field. An In- 
dian came upon them unawares and killed the 
father. An elder brother, near the home, saw the 
father fall ; he rushed into the house, snatched a 
loaded musket, which perhaps he had never shot 
before, aimed through a loop hole, and shot the In- 
dian dead, just as he was stooping to take the 
younger brother as a captive. Who shall say that 
God had nought to do with that bullet and its aim, 
which saved the child, destined in the years to 
come to be the father of him, who, eighty years 
thereafter, was to be looked upon as the leader and 
the savior of a free and independent nation. And 
is it not quite out of place to denounce this orphan 
boy, when grown to manhood, which is sometimes 
done, as among the low and shiftless and most de- 
graded of the "white trash" socalled, and especially 
so when the facts do not confirm or warrant the 

"After the nomination of Lincoln for the Presidency, 
as is so often the case in political campaigns, scandalous 
stories were circulated about the worthlessness of the 
father and mother of Abraham Lincoln. Twenty years 
later, through the efforts of Dr. J. M. Buckley, Miss Ida 
Tarbell and others, these stories were sifted and their 
utter falsity shown through documentary and other un- 
questionable evidence. In the vicinity of the Lincoln 
home in Kentucky there had never been any question as 
to the respectability of Thomas Lincoln and Nancy 
Hanks. The marriage record and certificate, signed by 
Rev. Jesse Head, a prominent and highly respected Meth- 
odist Minister, who performed the ceremony, are now 
matters of history. An account of the marriage feast, 
with a detailed description and menu of the feast, re- 
markable for those times, has been put on record by 
parties present at the wedding. * * * "Tom Lincoln was 
a carpenter, and a good one for those days, when a cabin 
was built mainly with the axe, and not a nail or bolt 
or hinge in it. only leathers and pins at the door, and no 
glass, except in watches and spectacles and bottles. Tom 

Birth and Frontier Life. 

When Thomas Lincoln and Nancy Hanks began 
their married life, few, very few indeed were the 
comforts of life in that then far frontier. The ad- 
vantages of school and church and culture, even in 
their rudest form, were extremely limited. There 
were no established schools ; and school terms, at 
the best, were haphazard and irregular, of short 
duration and far between, depending largely upon 
itinerant masters happening along. Here in the 
wilds of Kentucky, in this poor cabin home of the 
pioneer, on February 12th, 1809, came the child 
who was destined to grace and honor our Nation's 
history, and to stand forever among the foremost 
characters in all agesJ 

The child was strong and active and full of life, 
but outside a few stray incidents, a snap shot now 

had the best set of tools in what was then and now Wash- 
ington County. * * * I saw Nancy Hanks Lincoln at 
her wedding, a fresh-looking girl. Tom was a respectable 
mechanic and could choose, and she was treated with 
respect. * * * It is all stuff about Tom Lincoln keep- 
ing his wife in an open shed in a winter. * * * William 
Hardesty, who was there too, can say with me that 
Tom Lincoln was a man and took care of his wife." — 
From affidavit, Dr. Christopher Columbus Graham, Louis- 
ville, Ky., 1884. 

7 The morals, the religious training and the manly and 
womanly characteristics of much of the rugged pioneer 
times, do not suffer in comparison with much of our 
modern and socalled refined society. The highest char- 
acter is not usually developed in ease and luxury and in 
the flowery pathways of life. 

We are indebted to Leonard Swett, a lawyer friend of 
Mr. Lincoln, for an account given to him by Lincoln 
himself of his early life. "It was told," says Mr. Swett, 
"with mirth and glee. His biographers have given to his 
early life the spirit of suffering and want. Mr. Lincoln 
gave no such description, nor is such description true. 
His was just such a life as has always existed and now 
exists in frontier States." 


and then of the home, the mother and the father, 
an account or two of youthful mates, and a flash 
light here and there to break the monotony of the 
fearful solitude, very little is known of the first 
seven years of that young life. The cheerless cabin 
of a poor frontiersman ; — the meager record of a 
migratory father, with the allurements of the rifle 
and wild game ; — a mother's love and prayers and 
oversight ; — a sister's care and companionship ; — 
some boyish sports with friends like Dennis Hanks 
and Austin Gallaher ; — a few days schooling off 
and on in an old log hut some miles away ; — a 
Christian service now and then in some log cabin, 
or wooded grove ; — the heart throbs at the un- 
marked grave of a younger brother ; — the tokens 
of restless vigor of strong physique, an active brain 
and a noble heart, — are rifts in the cloudy darkness 
which must tell the story of those formative years. 
To secure good titles to Kentucky lands in those 
days was most difficult, * * * Because of this 
Daniel Boone lost all his Kentucky possessions. 
Largely for this reason, and because of incoming 
slavery, to which the Lincolns were bitterly op- 
posed, and because of attractions farther west, a 
new home is sought, down and across the Ohio 
River. Indiana, then, was scarcely more than one 
grand stretch of wilderness, (though that year it 
was admitted as a State into the Union) inhabited 
by roving Indians and the wild beasts of the forest. 
Here again we find the boy of eight years in the 
rude cabin of the pioneer ; and here, on the frontier 
of southern Indiana, he spent his youth and early 
manhood. In these frontier homes, his life and 


character do not lose by extreme contrast, as in 
some fairy tale, with the children of other pio- 
neers.8 Through these common experiences of 
privation and hardship of pioneer life there is in- 
deed a warmer touch of heart and soul as we en- 
ter the poverty-stricken home of the future Presi- 
dent, and trace his course and difficulties, sorrows 
and discouragements, together with the defeats and 
triumphs of succeding years. His home was poorer, 
the comforts less, the privations greater, and the 
hardships more severe, no doubt, than in some of 
the homes even in those early times and frontier 

Home Life, — Parents and Characteristics, — 

Thomas Lincoln, like most of the other settlers, 
was illiterate. There were no schools and he had 
no advantages of schooling. After his marriage, 
his wife taught him to write. He had good com- 
mon sense. In some respects he lacked thrift and 
ambition, but he was not wanting in self respect. 
He worked with a will when work came his way 
without the seeking and was determined and ener- 
getic when decision was once made. "He was not 

8 Thomas and Nancy were good common people, not 
above or below their neighbors. — Dr. Graham, Lo-uisville, 
Ky., as above. 

9 1 am only suggesting the outline story of some who 
may read these pages, no doubt, when I say that my own 
parents were not owners of a city mansion. My sisters 
and brothers were born in a little log house, and I only 
escaped the disgrace, if disgrace it is, because I chanced 
to be the youngest of the family. And yet. was born in 
the State of New York, and scarcely a generation before, 
Lincoln was born in the far off and much newer frontier 
of Kentucky. 


iazy, but one of those old fellows peculiar to those 
pioneer times."io He liked to fish and hunt, and 
living, in those times depended much upon this. 
He had learned the carpenter's trade, but there was 
comparatively little of that to do. He was peace- 
ful and accommodating, friendly, openhearted and 
jovial. He was slow to take affront, but when once 
aroused! was well nigh invincible. He was a little 
above the medium height, strong and muscular and 
fearless. He was a man of good morals and in 
his way religious. He did not drink intoxicating 
liquors, or swear, or gamble, or play at games of 
chance. Withal he had good, strong natural abili- 
ties. He was easy-going and inclined to take things 
as they came, when he might, sometimes, perhaps 
have made them better. 

In the infancy and childhood of Lincoln his life- 
lines were dark and unpromising. His secluded life 
in the wilds of Kentucky, and the early years in 
Indiana had nothing unusual to cheer and to glad- 
den save the companionship of a loving sister, and 
the tender oversight of a devoted mother, who was 
possessed of rare qualities of mind and heart. 
Though born to drudgery and hardship, she was 
superior in culture and refinement to much of her 
surroundings, and was possessed, too, in a marked 
degree, of the higher ideals of life. The poorly clad 
and tender-hearted boy wins our sympathy and 
affection. He seems determined to make a friend 
of frowning fortune. He appears to have been 
born with the birth-mark of sorrow and disappoint- 
ment, and this undertone of sadness made his life, 

10 Statement made to the author by Robert T. Lincoln. 


at times, most touching and pathetic. "All his life 
long," we are told, "he put barriers between himself 
and the world through the medium of his humor." 
Mirth and sadness seemed to hold determined 
contest for control, but "mirth and melancholy are 
twins cradled in the hearts of all great men." In 
the case of Lincoln they grew together in sur- 
passing strength and union, yet showed but little 
trace of kinship. His cabin home offered but few 
comforts, and his chief amusements were to sit in 
his mother's lap, lean upon her arm and be 
caressed ; taught of her to read and write, and sit 
by her side and listen to Bible tales, and the re- 
hearsing of country legends. His mother cautioned 
and encouraged him against growing up in ignor- 
ance, vice and squalor, and pictured to him the 
future he might make for himself. These lessons 
were well directed, carefully learned and faithfully 
observed, as the sequel of his life fully shows. He 
owed to his mother some of the finest traits of his 
character, and the cultivation of some of those 
qualities which distinguished him as a man and en- 
deared him to the people. Dr. Holland has said : — 
"She had much in her nature that was truly heroic, 
and much that shrank from the rude life around 
her. A great man never drew his infant life from 
a purer and more womanly bosom than her son." 
To her he owed, largely, his thorough knowledge of 
Scriptures ; and he never spoke of her without in- 
voking a blessing upon her memory. In after years 
he referred to her as his "Angel mother." To his 
father he owed some of the manly qualities of his 
nature, as also his vein of humor and his talent for 
story telling. 


Let the curtain here fall. We will not here pause 
to witness the hopeless, almost broken-hearted little 
boy as he stands beside the outstretched form of 
his lifeless mother. The secret pain and sorrow of 
that orphan heart cannot be told. The mother had 
been taken sick with a deadly fever.n "There was 
no physician," says Mr. Watterson, "within thirty- 
five miles, nor a preacher within one hundred 
miles. * * * Placing her hand on the head of the 
little boy, nine years old, she said 'I am going away 
from you, Abraham, and I shall not return. I know 
that you will be a good boy ; that you will be kind 
to Sarah and to your father. I want you to live 
as I have taught you and to love your heavenly 
Father.' " 

In after years Providence opens the way, and an- 
other earnest, wise, sweet-spirited and tender- 
hearted woman is to do him service as a mother 
and a guide. How much he owed to her the world 
may never know. 

Note married life. 

Hidden Life and Worth Disclosed. 

Inborn aspiration, stimulated, encouraged and 
directed by this wise and unbroken maternal in- 
fluence, from earliest childhood to manhood, are 
quickened in his soul by the possibilities to which 
applied industry and an upright life may lead. 

The boy dreams ; he lives his dreams. He is de- 
termined to know something and to make something 
of himself. He weighs his talents and measures his 
strength by surmounting obstacles which confront 

11 Milk sickness. 


him, and by conquering difficulties in the way. He 
makes himself master of the situation where occa- 
sion leads, or duty calls, and by shaping his course 
and conduct always with the standard of right and 

The boy thus reared is kept in touch with the 
common people. He reads and studies and thinks. 
His soul becomes permeated with the principles of 
the Government and its free institutions. He cul- 
tivates the sense of justice, and has an intense love 
and sympathy for the people. He shares the con- 
fidence and sympathy of the masses. He knows 
neither race nor rank, and has a wonderful grasp 
upon the spirit of our institutions and the character 
and motives of men. He has a keen sense of the 
wants and judgment of the people. He becomes a 
living proclamation of the declaration, "All men 
are created free and equal." He illustrates in his 
own life the dignity of labor and the nobility of 
the COMMON PEOPLE. He stands for true and 
honest men and women anywhere and everywhere, 
who are seeking to better their lives and their con- 

A priceless jewel is here in the rough. God sets 
his seal upon him. Coming from the common 
people, born and reared in the humblest walks of 
life, God leaves him in touch with the masses to 
be ground, and shaped, and polished for his high 
and unique place of honor in the crown of Ameri- 
can glory. 


Intellectual and Moral Equipments. 

There was something remarkable in the intellec- 
tual and moral life and vigor of Abraham Lincoln. 
His school privileges were limited. It is asserted 
that altogether his school life would not more than 
equal one year in our public schools. We are told 
that when at school he studied hard and was quick 
to learn, and was comprehensive, as well, in his 
grasp of truth ; and withal he had a wonderful 
memory. It may not be forgotten, however, that 
his mother was a woman of more than ordinary 
culture for those times. Largely she performed the 
office of teacher and preceptress, and in this was 
far more efficient than the itinerant masters. She 
died while the boy was young ; but she lived long 
enough to lay deep the foundation of his moral 
aspirations, and the principles of his character. 
Nature's gifts were sealed with a mother's hand 
and a mother's heart. Unsullied conscience, per- 
fect honesty, absolute truthfulness, righteous am- 
bition, gentle selfcontrol, love of justice, considera- 
tion and respect for the rights of others, reverence 
for, and obligation to God ; and all surcharged with 
good common sense. These were so carefully laid 
and cemented that they remained as adamant, 
forming the substratum of his entire life. When 
President he once said : — "All that I am or hope 
to be I owe to my sainted mother." With the 
foundation thus carefully laid, when other means 
failed, he became his own professor, and as every- 
where he mastered the obstacles in his way. For 
lack of other means he would cipher and practice 
the art of composition on pieces of boards, or a 


wooden shovel, with a piece of charcoal, before a 
spice-wood fire. Books were scarce and difficult 
to obtain ; but such as he could secure he master- 
ed. When called upon to do work where special 
lines of service were required, he took it up and 
mastered it. The great Declaration was his hand- 
book, and the Bible, Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress 
and iEsops Fablesi were his chosen companions. 
In his case the itinerant preacher of those days 
was no small or indifferent means in his education. 
Though not instructed in the schools, he was not 
unlearned. I hazard nothing in the statement, he 
was a scholar far beyond the age in which he 
lived and the people with whom he mingled. His 
art of expression and his wondrous power of speech 
are all attested in documents left on record, and 
speeches here and there in public life. From early 
childhood on through life he did not cease to study 
books, and men, the Nation's interests and the is- 
sues of the day. Senator Cullum, speaking of his 
educational qualifications, says : — "Lincoln was in 
one sense the best educated man of the country, for 
his mind was trained to grasp great subjects." It 
would be well for the student of to-day to heed the 
thought more carefully, that the benefit of an 
Academic course is more in developing the talents, 
and the training how to think than in the multitude 
of facts acquired. To illustrate Lincoln's growing 
breadth of culture. He was an ardent admirer of 
the leading poets, and was one of the best Shakes- 
pearean scholars of the land. 12 As to mental grasp 

^Lincoln began the study of Shakespeare while at New 
Salem, under one Kelso — a Shakespearean student and 


and keen discernment, his thorough knowledge of 
human nature is in proof. There is no greater hu- 
man study than man himself. The venerable Nott, 
long time President of Union College, New York, 
was once asked what were the three most essential 
studies needful to secure a knowledge of mankind. 
His answer: — "First man himself, next the Bible, 
next Shakespeare." Here Lincoln's knowledge was 
of the highest grade, and he proved himself a mas- 
ter of the theme. There was great truth in Dr. 
Cuyler's statement : — "He was graduated from the 
grand College of Free Labor, whose works were the 
Flat-boat, the Farm and Back-woods' Lawyer's 
office." Before he became President in 1860, Knox 
College, on whose campus Douglas and Lincoln 
measured arms in one of their great debates, con- 
ferred upon Lincoln the degree of Doctor of Laws. 
Later, in 1864, Princeton conferred upon him the 
same degree. 

Want and hardship and difficulties, when bravely 
met, have their compensation. In the case of Lin- 
coln, they sharpened his ambition, and his appetite 
for knowledge, awakened to activity his wonderful 
powers of mind, stirred the depths of his great soul 
and armed him with power almost divine. He 
made disappointment, difficulties and defeats his 
friends to spur him to greater energy, and fit him 
better for the ends and objects sought, and to make 
him worthy of the people's trust. 


Physical Strength and Courage. 

The physical strength of Lincoln was phenomenal. 
His parents, especially his father, had a strong 
physical organization. Lincoln himself was an 
athlete of remarkable proficiency and skill. It is 
claimed, and with good evidence, that he never met 
his superior in point of physical strength. As a 
boy and a young man, wherever he chanced to be, 
he was the leader in physical sports; but he never 
played the bully or the braggart. It is asserted 
that he could lift a weight of twelve hundred 
pounds. "Had he lived in England, or Normandy, 
centuries ago," says Mr. Arnold, "he would have 
been the founder of some great baronial family, 
possibly of a royal dynasty. He could have wielded 
with ease the two handed sword of Guy, the great 
Earl of Warwick, or the battle axe of Richard of 
the Lion heart. "13 When he became angry, which 
was not often, his nerves were as iron and his 
muscles as bars of steel. 

An Army officer had been discharged for misde- 
meanor. He had repeatedly tried to be reinstated. 
Finally he went to the President, even the second 
time, and during the interview insolently said to 
him : — "I see that you are fully determined not to 
do me justice." The President, angered, deliber- 
ate — arose, laid down his papers, took hold of him 
by the collar, and walked him to the door saying : — 
"Sir, I give you fair warning, never to show your- 
self in this room again. I can bear censure, but 
not insult."i4 

"Arnold, 52. 
"Stowe, 58. 


Conversation and Story-Telling. 

For conversation and story-telling Lincoln has had 
an enviable reputation ; — in conversation instruc- 
tive and entertaining ; — in story-telling an adept, 
in wit, humor, sarcasm, repartee, invective, simile 
and illustration, he seemed almost without an 
equal. Myriads of stories have been attributed to 
him unjustly and without warrant. He is some- 
times charged with telling stories coarse and in- 
decent. This charge is not true. He had no taste 
for the low and vile. His stories and illustrations 
always had a point, and his love for the humorous 
was such that if a story was pointed he would 
sometimes give it, even if the outlines might seem 
quaint, homespun, and even objectionable to the 
prudish. In his "Six Months at the White House," 
F. B. Carpenter, painter of "Lincoln Reading the 
Emancipation Proclamation to His Cabinet," has 
said : — "Every foul-mouthed man in the country 
gave currency to the slime and filth of his own 
imagination by attributing it to the President. It 
is but simple justice to his memory that I should 
state, that during the entire period of my stay in 
Washington, after witnessing his intercourse with 
nearly all classes of men, embracing Governors, 
members of Congress, officers of the Army and in- 
timate friends, I cannot recollect to have heard 
him relate a circumstance to any one of them, 
which would have been out of place in a ladies 
drawing-room." Dr. Stone, Lincoln's family phy- 
sician, once said to Mr. Carpenter : — "It is the 
province of a physician to probe deeply the inner 
lives of men ; and I affirm that Mr. Lincoln is the 





purest hearted man with whom I ever came in con- 
tact." Mr. Seward once said to Dr. Bellows : — "Mr. 
Lincoln is the best man I ever knew." 

Mr. Lincoln once said to Noah Brooks : — "I re- 
member a good story when I hear it, but I never 
invent anything original ; I am only a retail 

Judge Bates, referring to Lincoln's fund of anec- 
dotes, said: — "The character of the President's 
mind is such that his thoughts habitually take on 
the form of illustration, by which the point he 
wishes to enforce is inevitably brought home with 
a strength and clearness impossible in hours of ab- 
stract reasoning." 

In story-telling Lincoln had various objects in 
view at different times. Ordinarily these stories 
were not told as jokes, or as good stories for the 
sake of the stories, but rather illustrative, or to 
sharpen the point of an argument ; to answer a 
question, or to expose the weakness on the part of 
an adversary. Sometimes he told a story or read 
a funny article to serve as a friction saving oil in 
the press of overburdening tasks. — Sometimes for 
fun, pure and simple, as it might seem, but always 
with a point, in which he seemed to lose himself in 
the aptness of the simile or the story. No one 
was likely to get more enjoyment and satisfaction 
out of a story he might tell than Lincoln himself ; 
and his laugh at the climax was so naturally his 
own, and spontaneous, that it seemed the explosion 
of a mine of humor which was sure to become in- 
fectious. As in the face of Lincoln, humor and 
pathos sometimes strangely met in the stories told 


and the tasks to be accomplished. Says a recent 
writer : — "Had Apollo called upon him there is no 
doubt he would have compelled him to listen to a 
story of quaint human foibles — perchance designed- 
ly — before settling the affairs of some new world." 15 

On calling his Cabinet together to read that most 
important document, — the Emancipation Proclama- 
tion, to the wonder of some, he opened the meeting 
by suggesting the reading of one of Artemus Ward's 
funnygraphs. An Ohio Congressman, a personal 
friend, called upon Lincoln upon an important mat- 
ter. Before making response Lincoln began by 
telling a humorous story which semeed to fit. The 
Congressman arose, saying : — "I did not come this 
morning to hear stories ; it is too serious a time !" 
"Ashley," said Lincoln quickly, "sit down ! I respect 
you as an earnest, sincere man ; you cannot be 
more anxious than I have been constantly, since the 
beginning of the War, and I say to you that were 
it not for this occasional vent, I should die!" 

To illustrate his power of invective, (seldom 
used,) repartee, sarcasm, simile, illustration, etc., 
a few well authenticated instances may be noted 

Joshua Speed has given us an account of an elec- 
tioneering speech made by Lincoln in 1836. Lin- 
coln's opponent was one George Forquer who had 
ben a Whig and turned his coat and received the 
position of Register of the Land Office, and had 
his house rodded with lightning rods. Forquer be- 
gan his speech by saying that the young man would 
have to be taken down. Lincoln responding, said : — 
"I am not so young in years as I am in the tricks 

tB Gutzon Borglum. 


and trades of a politician ; but live long or die 
young, I would rather die now than, like the gentle- 
man, change my politics and simultaneously with 
the change receive an office worth three thousand 
dollars a year, and then have to erect a lightning 
rod over my house to protect a guilty conscience 
from an offended God." 

Some wise men from New York at one time urged 
him to draw away Confederate forces from Wash- 
ington by naval attacks upon Southern seaports. 
"It reminds me," said Lincoln, "of a New Salem, 
Illinois, girl who was troubled with a singing in 
her head, for which there seemed to be no remedy ; 
but a neighbor promised a cure, if they would make 
a plaster of psalm tunes and apply to her feet, and 
draw the singing down." 

While sitting for the Proclamation Picture, one 
day, some newspaper attacks upon the President 
were referred to, when he told the following to Mr. 
Carpenter : "A traveler on the frontier found him- 
self out of his reckoning one night, in an inhos- 
pitable region. A terrific thunderstorm came up, to 
add to his trouble. He floundered along until his 
horse at length gave out. The lightning afforded 
him the only clew to his way, but the peals of thun- 
der were frightful. One bolt which seemed to crash 
the earth beneath him brought him to his knees. 
By no means a praying man, his petition was short 
and to the point, — 'Oh Lord, if it is all the same to 
you, give us a little more light and a little less 

A man went to Lincoln with bitter denunciation 
of Secretary Stanton and his management of the 
War Department. "Go home, my friend," inter- 


rupted the President, "and read the tenth verse of 
the 30th Chapt. of Proverbs." (Accuse not a servant 
to his master, lest he curse thee and thou be found 

At the time Seward and Lincoln met the rebel 
commissioners at Hampton Roads, February, 1865, 
Mr. Stephens, who was a very small man, had 
taken the precaution to protect his frail body with 
numerous coats and wraps, from the mid-winter 
cold. On entering the cabin of the River Queen he 
began to take off his wraps one layer after another. 
When Stephens had finally emerged from all, Lin- 
coln quietly turned to Seward, saying: — "Seward, 
that is the largest shucking for so small a nubbin 
that I ever saw." 

At one time Lincoln and Seward were in an am- 
bulance on the way to a camp of the Army. Hav- 
ing crossed the Long Bridge the mules and the am- 
bulance were in the almost bottomless red mud 
of Virginia ; the driver was urging on the mules, 
cursing and swearing at a fearful rate, when Lin- 
coln protruding his head, said to the driver : "Say 
driver, you belong to the Episcopal church, don't 
you?" "No, I don't belong to any church," replied 
the driver, "when at home I usually attend the 
Methodist church." "Excuse me," said Lincoln, "I 
thought you must belong to the Episcopal church, 
for you swear just like Seward and he is a church 

Early in the War, Ship Island, near New Orleans, 
was taken by Federal troops. The General in com- 
mand issued a somewhat bombastic proclamation 
freeing the slaves. Lincoln took no notice of it. 


After a time he was taken to task about it by a 
friend. "Well," said Lincoln, "I feel about that a 
good deal as a man whom I will call 'Jones,' whom 
I once knew, did about his wife. He was one of 
your meek men, and had the reputation of being 
badly henpecked. At last one day his wife was 
seen switching him out of the house. A day or two 
afterwards a friend met him in the street, and 
said: 'Jones, I have always stood up for you, as 
you know ; but I am not going to do so any longer. 
Any man who will stand quietly and take a switch- 
ing from his wife, deserves to be horsewhipped.' 
Jones looked up with a wink, patting his friend on 
the back. 'Now don't,' said he, 'why, it didn't hurt 
me any ; and you've no idea what a power of good 
it did Sarah Ann.' " 

Senator Wade of Ohio was a member of the War 
Committee. He once went to see Lincoln to de- 
mand the removal of Grant. Lincoln began in 
reply : — "Senator, that reminds me of a story," — 
"Yes, yes !" — replied Wade, "it is with you all story, 
story. You are the father of every military blunder 
that has been made during the War. You are on 
your road to hell, sir ! and you are not a mile off 
this minute." Said Lincoln: "Senator, that is just 
about the distance from here to the Capitol is it 

Lord Lyons went to Washington to announce the 
marriage of the Prince of Wales. He made the 
customary speech. The President responded, and 
then taking the Diplomat by the hand, (Lyons was 
unmarried) he said: "And now Lord Lyons, go 
thou and do likewise." 


General Wilson gives the following : "A little time 
before his death, Lincoln, his wife, Wilson — then 
Colonel — and a lady friend, were at Ford's Theater : 
"Mr. Lincoln seemed to be taking but little interest 
in the proceedings. 'You are not taking any in- 
terest in the play,' said the Colonel. 'Oh, no,' re- 
plied Lincoln, 'I came to rest. I am hounded to 
death by office seekers. Here I can get a few hours 
relief from them.' He closed his eyes and I turned 
to the ladies. Suddenly I felt his heavy hand upon 
my shoulder, * * * and with his well remembered 
sweet smile he said : 'Colonel, did I ever tell you the 
story of Grant and the circus?' No, Mr. President, 
I am sorry to say you never did.' 'Well, when 
Grant was about ten years old a circus came to 
Point Pleasant, Ohio, where the family resided, 
and the small boy asked his father for a quarter to 
see the circus. The old screw would not give it 
to him, so Ulysses crawled in under the canvas, as 
I used to do, for I never saw a quarter when I was 
a little chap. The ring master announced that any 
one who would ride the mule that was brought in, 
once around the ring without being thrown would 
be presented with a silver dollar. A number tried 
for the dollar, but all were thrown over the mule's 
head. Finally the ring master ordered the mule 
taken out of the ring, when in walked Master 
Grant, saying, 'I'll try that mule.' The boy mounted, 
holding on longer than any of the others till at 
length the mule succeeded in throwing the boy into 
his father's tan bark, for the old man was a tanner. 
Springing to his feet and throwing off his cap and 
coat, Ulysses shouted with a determined air, 'I'd 


like to try that mule again.' This time he resorted 
to strategy. He faced to the rear, took hold of the 
beast's tail instead of his head, which rather de- 
moralized the mule. The hoy went round the ring 
and won the dollar. 'Just so,' added the President, 
'Grant will hold on to Bob Lee.' Fourteen days 
later General Lee surrendered at Appomattox." 


Intemperance is one of the greatest issues of our 
day. This question is forging itself to the front as 
never before. It is enlisting the earnest attention 
of the entire civilized world. 

A few months ago the liquor interests of Illinois 
and elsewhere sought to shadow itself behind the 
death mask of Abraham Lincoln. In this old 
Bacchus strangely sought to mistake himself for 
one of the most consistent temperance men, in high 
position, this Nation has ever known. In this 
Mr. Lincoln had the precept and example of both 
father and mother. His father, though from earli- 
est childhood, living in Kentucky, where whisky 
was exchangable currency, never drank intoxi- 
cating liquors. Both father and mother impressed 
upon his young mind the evils of intemperance. In 
one of his debates with Stephen A. Douglas, the 
latter charged him with belonging to a temperance 
society. Lincoln replied : — "If the Judge means by 
this, being a temperance man, I may say, I never 
drink," — meaning intoxicating liquors. In talking 
with a lawyer friend not more than a year before 
his election to the Presidency, he remarked that he 
had never tasted liquor in his life. "What!" said 


Mr. Swett, "do you mean to say that you never 
tasted it?" "Yes, I never tasted it." In 1842, be- 
fore the Washingtonian society in Springfield, he 
delivered an address on temperance, which has sel- 
dom, if ever been surpassed. In closing this ad- 
dress he says : — "Let us make it as unfashionable 
to withhold our names from the temperance pledge 
as for husbands to wear their wives' bonnets to 
church. * * * The demon of intemperance ever 
seems to have delighted in sucking the blood of 
genius and of generosity. * * * He ever seems 
to have gone forth, like the Egyptian angel of death, 
commissioned to slay if not the first, the fairest 
born of every family. * * * When the victory 
shall be complete — when there shall be neither a 
slave nor a drunkard on the earth — how proud the 
title of that Land which may truly claim to be the 
birth-place and the cradle of those revolutions, that 
shall have ended in that victory." 16 

All are familiar with the incidents connected 
with the reception, at Mr. Lincoln's home in Spring- 
field, of the Committee appointed at the Chicago 
convention, to notify him, officially of his nomina- 
tion for the Presidency.*? 

It had previously been suggested to Mr. Lincoln 
that some kind of entertainment, refreshments, 
wine and other liquors would be needed. "But," 
said Mr. Lincoln, "I have no liquor in the house." 
"We will furnish it then," was the response. "I 
thank you for your kind intentions," said Mr. Lin- 

16 See Letters and Addresses. — Nicolay and Hay, and 

"Memorial Album. Charles Carlton Coffin, Remin- 
iscences, (166-167.) 


Talford JefEers. 

Albert Laurence. 

Charles C. Abell. Almont J. Spragaie. J. L. Wilkinson. 

F. B. Johnson. Martin D. Swan. 

Men Who Fought for the Union in the Author's Regiment. 

coin, "but I cannot permit my friends to do for me 
what I will not myself do." 

After the formal notification and the reply, "With 
the utterance of the last syllable," says Mr. Coffin, 
"his whole manner instantly changed." A smile, like 
the sun shining through the rift of a passing cloud 
sweeping over the landscape, illumined his face, 
lighted up every homely feature, as he grasped the 
hand of Mr. Kelley. "You are a tall man, Judge. 
What is your height?" "Six feet three." "I beat 
you. I am six feet four, without my high heel 
boots." "I am glad," replies Mr. Kelley, "we have 
found a candidate for the Presidency whom we 
can look up to, for we have been informed that 
there were only 'Little Giants' in Illinois." This 
opened the way for unembarrassed entertainment. 
"Mrs. Lincoln will be glad to see you gentlemen," 
said the host. "You will find her in the other room. 
You must be thirsty after so long a ride. You will 
find a pitcher of water in the Library," and added, 
"Gentlemen, we must pledge our mutual healths, 
in the most healthy beverage God ever gave to man. 
It is the only beverage I have ever used, or allowed 
in my family. It is pure Adam's ale from the 

Such a standard, on the part of candidates for 
high office, is not common even in these days of 
agitation and temperance reform ; but was far more 
rare fifty and seventy years ago. 

"Lincoln never used liquor or tobacco in any 
form. He is said to have preached the following 

18 See Dr. D. D. Thompson. — N. W. C. A., Feb. 3d, 1909, 
(p. 5-6-133.) 


'sermon' as he called it, to his boys. 'Don't drink, 
don't smoke, don't chew, don't swear, don't gamble, 
don't lie, don't cheat, love truth, love virtue, and 
be happy." 

Home and Family Life. 

To form a correct estimate of Lincoln, the man, 
an inlook upon home attachment and family life 
is essential. In no man, whose heart-beat was na- 
tional were home life and domestic principles more 
firmly rooted. Positive evidence, trustworthy and 
incidental, make conclusive the fact that this inner 
trait of Lincoln's character was not lost, or stifled 
during the twenty years and more of married life. 
Preface this with his love for Ann Rutlege, and his 
sorrow at her death ; follow him closely, omitting 
nothing. Take up his story in the winning of Mary 
Todd — the bright, intelligent, spirited and aspiring 
girl from his own native State : — the "pretty little 
woman," full of life and animated with ready wit 
and quick at repartee and satire,i9 — and the oppo- 
site of Mr. Lincoln in temperameDt. After her 
marriage she said to a friend who had married a 
wealthy man much older than herself: "I would 
rather marry a good man, a man of mind, with 
bright prospects for success and power and fame, 
than all the horses and houses and wealth in the 

19 When it was known that Shields had challenged Lin- 
coln for a duel, because of letters written for the press — 
the Rebecca letters — Miss Todd wrote the following for 
publication. — Shields was an Irishman. 

"I hear the way of the fire-eaters is to give the 
challenged party the choice of weapons, which being the 
case, I'll tell you In confidence. I never fight with any- 
thing but broom-sticks or hot water, or a shovel full of 
coals, the former of which, being of the (form of a 
shallala might not be objectionable to him." 


world." In their modest simple home in Spring- 
field, we are assured, everything was orderly and 
refined. Mrs. Lincoln was cordial, hearty, genial 
and kind, fond of social life and a member of the 
Presbyterian church. From the inner record of 
their family life, it is clearly evident that Mr. Lin- 
coln did not have the trouble with his wife that 
some of his biographers have had, — especially so 
as to Mr. Herndon, law-partner of Mr. Lincoln, to 
whom Mrs. Lincoln, for some reason did not take 
kindly, and who, in turn, had little good to say of 
her, and denounced her as a scold. 

At the White House, official attendants, and 
those familiar with the facts, tell us that Mrs. Lin- 
coln was kind to all the employees and was gen- 
erally liked. 

During War times the exacting duties of the 
President and his wife, in social functions and 
otherwise, are not now easy to be understood. 
Heartless critics seem to lose sight of what the 
War meant to the home life of the President and 
his wife. Two brothers and a brother-in-law of 
Mrs. Lincoln, General B. H. Helm — were soldiers 
in the Confederate army. At the opening of the 
War, Lincoln invited Helm to Washington and 
strongly urged him to accept a commission in the 
Union army. After much deliberation he decided 
to cast his fortunes with the South. One of the 
brothers was slain at Shiloh, the other was killed 
at Vicksburg; General Helm fell at Chickamauga. 
The fact that these kinsmen were in the rebel serv- 
ice was enough to set gossip afloat that the Pres- 
ident's wife was in tacit sympathy with the Con- 


federate cause. But as a matter of fact Mrs. Lin 
coin was ever loyal to her husband and to the 
cause of the Union, notwithstanding the heart- 
throbs for her cherished loved ones slain. Lincoln 
himself had relatives on the other side ; and so did 
many others who fought for the Union. The sick- 
ness and death of promising little Willie, too, fell 
as heavily upon the mother as upon the father. 
Surmounting it all came the tragedy of her hus- 
band's death, which at last dethroned her reason, 
and made the balance of her life a living death. 
"There is nothing in American history," says Mr. 
Arnold, "so unmanly, so devoid of every chivalric 
impulse, as the treatment of that poor, broken 
hearted woman, whose reason was shattered by 
the great tragedy of her life. One would have sup- 
posed it to be sufficient to secure the forbearance, 
the charitable construction, or the silence of the 
press, to remember that she was the widow of 
Abraham Lincoln. When the Duke of Burgundy 
was uttering his coarse and idle jests concerning 
Margaret of Anjou, the Earl of Oxford rebuked 
and silenced him by saying : "My Lord, whatever 
may have been the defect of my mistress, she is 
in distress, and almost disconsolate."20 

In numberless letters and telegrams, and in 
countless other ways, Lincoln's love and devotion 
to his home and family are attested. "In his domes- 
tic life," says Bishop Simpson, a close personal 
friend, "Lincoln was exceedingly kind and affec- 
tionate." His deference to the wishes of his wife 
was habitual with him ; between them there was 

*> Arnold — 439-440. 


deep affection and the closest confidence. The 
mutual heart-opening of husband and wife, on the 
last afternoon of his life, is attractive and touch- 
ing.21 Miss Helen Nicolay, daughter of Lincoln's 
private Secretary, tells us: "The President's atti- 
tude toward his wife had something of the paternal 
in it, almost as though she were a child under his 

In the Executive Mansion there was no place too 
sacred, and no time otherwise too fully occupied, 
for the presence of "Tad" and Willie, and in the 
lull of executive duties he was often their willing 
play-fellow ; and especially so with "Tad" when 
Willie had gone. Attorney General Bates has left 
on record a memoranda touching the death of 
Willie: — "A fine boy of eleven years, too much idol- 
ized by his parents. The Government departments 
were closed on the day of his funeral — the only 
time perhaps that the death of a child has been 
so observed in the history of our country."23 

The native sympathy and inborn kindness of 
Lincoln's nature, always manifest, and especially 
in his treatment of suppliants during the War, was 
but the outburst of his heart, the reflection of his 
own tender care, affection and consideration for 

21 In his drive with Mrs. Lincoln, after the Cabinet 
meeting (Apr. 14th) in which he wished no one to ac- 
company them, he said : "Mary we have had a hard time 
of it since we came to Washington, but the War is over, 
and with God's blessing we may hope for four years of 
peace and happiness, and then we will go back to Illinois 
and pass the rest of our lives in quiet. * * * We must 
both be more cheerful in the future. Between the War 
and the loss of our darling Willie we have been very 

22 Personal Traits — 205. 

23 Personal Traits — 201. — The body of Willie was taken 
to Springfield along with that of his father. 


his own wife and children ; — the outflow from the 
fountain head of his own domestic sympathy and 


"O thou great Wrong, that through the slow-paced 
Didst hold thy millions fettered, and didst wield 
The scourge that drove the laborer to the field, 
And turn a stony gaze on human tears, 
Thy cruel reign is o'er ; 
Thy bondmen crouch no more 
In terror at the menace of thine eye; 

For he who marks the bounds of guilty power, 
Long suffering, hath heard thy captive's cry, 

And touched his shackles at the appointed hour, 
And lo! they fall, and he whose limbs they galled 
Stands in his native manhood, disenthralled. 

"Well was thy doom deserved ; thou didst not spare 
Life's tenderests ties, but cruelly didst part 
Husband and wife, and from the mother's heart 
Didst wrest her children, deaf to shriek and prayer ; 
Thy inner lair became 
The haunt of guilty shame ; 
The lash dropped blood, the murderer, at thy side, 
Showed his red hands, nor feared the vengence 
Thou didst sow earth with crimes, and, far and 
A harvest of uncounted miseries grew, 
Until the measure of thy sins at last 
Was full, and then the avenging bolt was cast!" 

The death of slavery, which Bryant sings so 
touchingly and so forcefully, was the logical out- 
come of the War, as the institution itself was its 
fundamental cause. In that dark stretch of years, 
when the mandate of slavery was "rigid as the will 


Caleb B. Smith. 

Simon Cameron. Montgomery Blair. 

Gideon Welles. 

A. Lincoln. 

Edward Bates. 

Edwin M. Stanton. William II. Seward. Salmon P. Chase. 


of Fate," there were those who could not be cowed, 
who shrank not from the task, or quailed before 
the gruesome plague of negro slavery ! — to such 
belongs unstinted honor ! — but to him — 

"At whose command the manaclesi were burst, 
And the sad slave come forth forever free." 

to him, God's master workman, must henceforth 
be given the chieftest honor. 

Lincoln was a consistant and uncompromising 
opponent of slavery. This opposition was inborn 
and life-long, and increased as the years advanced. 
Both father and mother were pronounced against 
it. One of the chief reasons for their leaving Ken- 
tucky was the increasing inflow of planters with 
their slaves. A warm, personal and influential 
friend of the Lincolns was Jesse Head, a man of 
prominence, and a Methodist minister, who per- 
formed their marriage ceremony. He was free and 
outspoken in his talk and sermons on the subject 
of slavery. Dr. C. C. Graham, an old acquaintance 
of the Lincolns and who was present at their wed- 
ding, has left a memoranda in which he says : — 
"Tom Lincoln and Nancy, and Sally Bush were 
just steeped full of Jesse Head's notions of the 
wrongs of slavery, and the rights of man as ex- 
plained by Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Paine."24 
Thus generated and quickened, this birth-right of 

M Abe Lincoln the Liberator was made in his mother's 
womb and father's brain and in the prayers of Sally 
Bush ; by the talks and sermons of Jesse Head. Rev. or 
Judge Jesse Head, the Methodist circuit rider, assistant 
County Judge, printer-editor, and cabinet maker, was 
one of the most prominent men there (Lincoln-Hanks 
wedding), as he was able to own slaves, but did not on 
principle." — Dr. C. C. Graham. — McClure, 1806. 


the future 'Liberator,' with proper care and sub- 
sequent culture, came to be an inheritance incor- 
ruptable and measureless in value, and whose 
assets to the Nation and to the world have proven 
to be of incalculable worth. 

Lincoln was not an Abolitionist of the school of 
Garrison, and Phillips and John Brown. Like Dr. 
Lyman Beecher he did not think it best to burn 
down the house to get rid of the rats. He was 
none the less determined, however, in his anti- 
slavery sentiments. He has most emphatically de- 
clared: — "If slavery is not wrong, nothing is 
wrong!" In an address in Cincinnati, in 1859, he 
said : — "I think slavery is wrong, morally, and 
politically." In 1854, in a letter to Mr. Codding, 
of the Illinois State Central Committee, he said : — 
"I suppose my opposition to the principles of slav- 
ery is as strong as that of any member of the Re- 
publican party."25 As far back as 1839, a strange 
presentiment seems to have confronted him, when 
of the slave power he said: — "Broken by it I, too, 
may be, bow to it I never will. * * * With- 
out contemplating consequences, before high 
heaven, and in the face of the world, I swear eter- 
nal fidelity to the just cause, as I deem it, of the 
land of my life, my liberty, and my love." "And 
yet secretly," Bishop Simpson tells us, before the 
War was ended, "he said to more than one: — 'I 
never shall live out the four years of my term. 
When the Rebellion is crushed, my work is done."26 

?5 You know I dislike slavery. * * * I hate to see the 
poor creatures, hunted down and caught and taken back 
to their stripes and to their unrequited toil, but I bite 
my lips and keep quiet. — Letter to Joshua F. Speed. 

28 Life of Bishop Simpson. 

The Hon. Owen Lovejoy, a radical Abolitionist, 
who had knelt upon the green sod that covered the 
grave of his murdered brother, and had there 
sworn eternal warfare against slavery, once said : — 
"I tell you Mr. Lincoln is at heart as strong an 
anti-slavery man as any of them, but he is com- 
pelled to feel his way. * * * I say to you 
frankly, I believe his course is right." 

To confine slavery within the limits designated 
in the compromise of 1820 (the Missouri Compro- 
mise), meant, as Mr. Lincoln believed, its ultimate 
extinction. 27 While he looked upon slavery as 
wrong, morally, socially, and politically, he re- 
garded the Constitution as the fundamental law 
of the Nation, and that the rights guaranteed to 
slavery under the Constitution must be respected. 
The aim of Lincoln in the debate with Douglas was 
to prevent the spread of slavery into free States 
and Territories. In that remarkable address de- 
livered in Springfield, in 1856, he said: — "Let us 
draw a cordon, so to speak, around the slave States, 
and the hateful institution, like a reptile poisoning 
itself, will perish by its own infamy. * * *" He 
spoke in Kansas in December, 1859. In this speech 
he declared : — "We must not disturb slavery in 
States where it exists, because the Constitution, 
and the peace of the Country both forbid it. * * * 
But we must, by a national policy, prevent the 
spread of slavery into new Territories, or free 

f 7 ! have always hated slavery, I think, as much as any 
Abolitionist, — have been an Old-line Whig — I have always 
hated it, but I have always kept quiet about it until this 
new era of the introduction of the Nebraska bill began. 
I always believed! * * * that it was in course of ulti- 
mate extinction. Speech, Chicago, July 10. 2858 — Ad- 
dresses, 2,252. 


States, because the Constitution does not forbid 
us, and the general welfare does demand such pre- 
vention." And again, in the Cooper Institute Ad- 
dress : — "In relation to slavery, as those fathers 
marked it, so let it again be marked as an evil not 
to be extended, but to be tolerated and protected 
only because, and so far as, its actual presence 
among us make that toleration and protection a 

What to do with slavery ?28 That was the su- 
preme question. Was the hateful Octupus to reach 
out its slimy tentacles to the separate States until 
the entire Nation should be within its strangling 
grasp? or was some unseen, some unknown Hercu- 
les to give it battle, and strip it of its power? One 
or the other it must be; — so thought Lincoln. The 
Fates were merciful indeed, for none could see 
the awful drama just ahead, and none could divine 
with accuracy the outcome. — "John, if I ever get 
a chance to strike that institution, I'll hit it 
hard ! !" — The echo comes floating faintly from the 
past! He who spake abides his time, and when 
that time has come, he is true to his word. He is 
President now ! Slavery has gone to war ! The 
Nation is in arms ! The world is looking on ! ! ! 

It is interesting, — marvelous even, to trace the 
manner in which the Constitution of the Nation, 
so long the strong bulwark of defense for slavery, 
becomes, in the hand of a cautious, far-seeing, mas- 
terly statesman, the impregnable tower of eman- 

28 Lincoln's cherished method of ridding the Nation of 
slavery, and the disposition of the purchased slaves, was 
compensated emancipation and colonization. 


cipation, and the freedom of a race.29 The Dec- 
laration of Independence was the announcement of 
liberty, — ^Emancipation, with its outcome, was the 

29 On April 6th, 1864, an English anti-slavery orator, 
Mr. George Thompson, gave an address in the House of 
Representatives. On the following morning, Mr. Thomp- 
son In company with Rev. John Pierepon and others, 
called upon the President. Greeting them Mr. Lincoln 
said : — "Mr. Thompson, the people of Great Britain, and 
of the foreign government were in one great error in 
reference to this conflict. They seemed to think that, the 
moment I was President, I had the power to abolish 
slavery, forgetting that before I could have any power 
whatever, I had to take the oath to support the Constitu- 
tion of the United States, and execute the laws as I found 
them. When the Rebellion broke out, my duty did not 
admit of a question. That was, first, by all strictly law- 
ful means to endeavor to maintain the integrity of the 
government. I did not consider that I had a right to 
touch the 'State' institution of 'Slavery' until all other 
measures for restoring the Union had failed. The para- 
mount idea of the Constitution is the preservation of the 
Union. * * * It seems clear, then, that in the last ex- 
tremity, if any local institution threatened the existence 
of the Union, the Executive could not hesitate as to his 
duty. In our case, the moment came when I felt that 
slavery must die that the nation might live. * * * 

"Many of my strongest supporters urged Emancipation 
before I thought it indispensible, and, I may say, before 
I thought the country was ready for it. It is my convic- 
tion that, had the proclamation been issued even six months 
earlier than it was, public sentiment would not have 
sustained it. .Inst so. as to the subsequent action in 
reference to enlisting blacks in the Border States. The 
step, taken sooner, could not, in my judgment, have been 
carried out. * * * We have seen this great revolution 
in public sentiment slowly but surely progressing, so that 
when final action came, the opposition was not strong 
enough to defeat the piirpose. I can now solemnly assert 
that I have a clear conscience in regard to my action on 
this momentous question." — F. B. Carpenter, in Six 
Months In the White House. 

30 (1) The first draft was written on board the steam- 
boat returning from Harrison's Landing. July 8th, 1862. 

Cabinet meeting called to lay before the members the 
subject matter of the Proclamation, — having previously 
resolved upon the step, — on July 22nd. 1862. Suggestions 
were made by different members of the Cabinet, Mr. 
Chase thought it should be stronger in reference to arm- 
ing the Blacks : Mr. Blair thought it would cost the 
Administration the fall elections. Until Mr. Seward's ob- 
jection was given the others had been anticipated and 
settled. Seward thought it would be considered "our 


demonstration completed. On signing the Procla- 
mation the President said to Mr. Seward: — "If my 
name ever gets into history, it will be for this act ; 
my whole soul is in it."3i Soon after the issue of 
the Proclamation, Governor Morgan of New York 
was in Washington. Mr. Lincoln, referring to the 
matter, said : — "We are a good deal like whalers 

last shriek," and should be postponed, — "While I approve 
the measure, I suggest, sir, that you postpone its issue, 
until you can give it to the country supported by military 
success." "This suggestion was adopted. The second 
draft of the preliminary proclamation was finished at the 
summer residence. Soldiers Home. The Cabinet was 
called together on Saturday, Sept. 20th. The Proclama- 
tion was published and signed Sept. 22nd, 1862, one hun 
dred days before the finalProclamation." 

(2) "No member of the Cabinet dissented from the 
policy in any conversation with me." — Lincoln. 

(3) "I made a solemn vow before God, that if General 
Lee was driven back from Pennsylvania, I would crown 
the result by the declaration of freedom to the slaves." — 
Lincoln to Secretary Chase. 

(4) "The South had been fairly warned, that if they 
did not return to their duty. I should strike at this pillar 
of their strength. The promise must now be kept, and 
I shall never recall one word." — Lincoln. 

(5) "If the people should, by whatever mode or means, 
make it an Executive duty to re-inslave such persons, 
another, not I, must be their instrument to perform it." 
Annual Message, Dec. 6, 1864. 

(6) "The Proclamation * * * as an expression of the 
spirit of the people, and the policy of the Administration, 
had become both a moral and a military necessity." — 
George W. Julian. 

(7) "There have been those base enough to propose to 
return to slavery the black warriors of Port Hudson and 
Olustee, and thus win the respect of the masters they 
fought. Should I do so, I should deserve to be damned 
in time and eternity. Come what will I will keep my 
faith with friend and foe. * * *" 

— Lincoln to Gov. Randall of Wis., Aug., 186$. 

31 (1) "As affairs have turned, it is the central act of 
my administration , and the great event of the nineteenth 
century." — Lincoln. 

(2) "The great act of our dead President, on which his 
fame shall rest long after his frame shall moulder away, 
is that of giving freedom to a race." — Bishop Simpson. 

(3) " * * * The most sublime moral event in our 
history." — F. B. Carpenter. 


who have been long on a chase. At last we have 
got our harpoon fairly into the monster ; but we 
must now look how we steer or with one flop of his 
tail, he will send us all into eternity." 

Those years, so full of tragedy and of history, 
suggest a Moses, selected of God and chosen by the 
people, to lead a nation from bondage to liberty ! — 
and as though on Nebo's mountain, overlooking the 
Promised Land, — "On being notified that the reso- 
lution in Congress, abolishing slavery had passed, 
Mr. Lincoln, in a speech for the occasion, said : — 
'The job is finished. I cannot but congratulate all 
present, myself, the country, and the whole world, 
on this great moral victory. .' " 


The years of reconstruction, following the War, 
was, and must always remain one of the great and 
important periods in the Nation's history. Whether 
the best was done that could have been done by 
the Government during that pivotal period is not 
easy to determine. Whether Lincoln could have 
done better had he lived to direct, is uncertain. To 
question minutely is to reckon without the host. A 
good deal of speculation has been had as to what 
would have been done had he lived. (Parenthet- 

82 It is not our aim here to consider reconstruction in 
its entirety as it stands in the history of our Nation. It 
is not in place here to review President Johnson's evolu- 
tion on reconstruction, from wholesale punishment to 
wholesale pardon. Nor yet the bitter and long drawn 
out controversy in Congress, and the consequent mani- 
fested spirit in the South : but Lincoln's thought and 
attitude on reconstruction is here sought, which in Its 
negative and positive characteristics must embrace an 
investigation of views, rightfully or wrongfully ascribed 
to him. 


ically, do we bear in mind that God who could 
provide a leader for the years of War was not 
powerless in garnering the fruits of victory?) At 
the time of Lincoln's death, outside of general prin 
ciples, to determine the work of reconstruction was 
much like determining what the War was to be 
before it began. There were undetermined move- 
ments, unforseen perplexities, and unexpected ob- 
stacles which had to be met. It had to deal with 
human nature not willing always to brook control. 
It involved the rights and the authority of the Na- 
tional Government, on the part of the North, and 
the giving up on the part of the South the cher- 
ished idea of the mere Confederation of States, and 
the institution of Negro slavery, slavery in sub- 
stance as well as in form, together with the spirit 
and the prejudices these had engendered. It in- 
volved the moral, social and political transforma- 
tion of the South, in so far as National integrity, 
human liberty, and the rights of American citizen- 
ship were represented by Abraham Lincoln, and 
declared valid at Appomattox, and this as over- 
against States' sovereignty and the accompanying 
propaganda represented by Jefferson Davis, which 
ran counter to the social, moral and political prog- 
ress of the age. It involved the consideration for 
and the rights of those in the South, who, under 
difficulties most trying, had remained true and 
loyal to the Union. It involved the rights and 
privileges of four millions of bondmen, just out 
from centuries of unrequited toil, and their right- 
ful avenues to citizenship. It involved as well a 
new condition of things for former masters, and 


an adjustment to untried conditions. From a 
human standpoint these things were, at the best, 
impossible without friction and discomfort some- 
where. In the hazy outlook upon the future, while 
the War was still in progress, some of these matters 
were being considered ; reconstruction, in fact, had 
its full share of the President's thought. Lincoln 
had been noting the outlines and examining some 
of its intricacies. 

After Lincoln's death a persistent effort was 
made during the reconstruction period, and later, 
to show that his plan of reconstruction would have 
been practically to reinstall the dominance of the 
South, and thus — (from the Southern outlook or 
viewpoint) have eliminated the hardships accruing, 
and the crimes committed ; — or as Mr. Gorham puts 
it: — "An effort to make it appear that Mr. Lincoln 
favored a loose policy, under which those so lately 
under arms against the Government would be cer- 
tain of an advantage over those who had sustained 
it." To think thus of Lincoln, when National in- 
tegrity had been asserted and its validity won in a 
four years war, is to confess to ignorance of his 
real character and manhood. 

Reconstruction was not the settlement of a chil- 
dren's quarrel. Fundamental truths and lasting 
principles were involved. No one realized the im- 
portance of things ahead, and difficulties involved, 
more keenly than did President Lincoln. 

When the War was practically over, Mr. Stanton 
offered his resignation as Secretary of War. Lin- 
coln refused to accept it, saying : — "Stanton, you 
cannot go. Reconstruction is more difficult than 


construction or destruction. You have been our 
main reliance ; you must help us through the final 
act. The bag is full. It must be tied and tied 
securely. Some knots slip; yours do not. You 
understand the situation better than anybody else. 
It is my wish and the country's wish that you re- 

It is idle, perhaps, for us to presume too much 
what Lincoln would have done. We may remember, 
however, that though consummated nominally, but 
not in spirit altogether, some twelve years after 
his death he had much to do with reconstruction; 
for his thoughts, his works and his plans entered 
into it. Enough is known, at least, to give general 
tenor to his probable course of action. In 1866, 
Charles A. Dana, for two years Asst. Secy, of War, 
wrote a letter to Mr. Arnold in which he said : — 
"At the time of Mr. Lincoln's death, a printed paper 
was under consideration in the Cabinet, providing 
ways and means for restoring state government in 
Virginia. In that paper it was stated that all loyal 
men, white or black, were to be called upon to vote 
in holding a state convention, while all rebels were 
to be excluded. I could not affirm that Mr. Lincoln 
had definitely adopted that policy with respect to 
black suffrage, but that I knew that his mind was 
tending to it, and I was morally certain he would 
have finally adhered to it."34 in a letter to Gen- 
eral Wadsworth before the Wilderness campaign, 
Mr. Lincoln said : — "You desire to know, in the 
event of our complete success in the field, the same 
being followed by a loyal and cheerful submission 

83 Flower's Stanton. 310-312; — Rothchild, 286. 

84 See Arnold's Lincoln. 416. 

on the part of the South, if universal amnesty 
should not be accompanied with universal suffrage? 
Now since you know my private inclinations as to 
what terms should be granted to the South in the 
contingency mentioned, I will here add, that if our 
success should thus be realized, followed by such 
desired results, I cannot see if universal amnesty 
is granted, how, under the circumstances, I can 
avoid exacting universal suffrage, or at least suf- 
frage on the basis of intelligence and military 

"How to better the condition of the colored race 
has long been a study which attracted my serious 
attention; hence I think I am clear and decided as 
to what course I shall pursue, regarding it as a 
religious duty, as the Nation's guardian of these 
people who have so heroically vindicated that man- 
hood on the battlefield, where, in assisting to save 
the life of the Republic, they have demonstrated in 
blood their right to the ballot, which is but the 
humane protection of the flag they have so fear- 
lessly defended."35 

Mr. Lincoln's idea of reconstruction was based 
upon the assumption that the Rebellion had de- 
stroyed the State governments of States in rebel- 
lion, but not the States themselves. That the Con- 
stitution of the United States requires that every 
State be guaranteed a republican form of Govern- 
ment, and that to make this guarantee good, United 
States governments must needs be established to 
take the place of those State governments operat- 
ing under the Confederacy. Reconstruction must 

35 Carpenter, Six Months in the White House, pp. 270- 


begin at the foundation. — "No man has the author- 
ity to give up the rebellion for any other man. We 
must simply begin with and mold from disorgan- 
ized and discordant elements." Existing govern- 
ments in rebellious States must have no place in 
the reconstructed State governments. He thought 
it unwise to have an inflexible rule for all the 
States. He did not think it best to discourage the 
loyal citizens of Louisiana and Arkansas who had 
framed legal State governments in accord with the 
proclamation of December, 1863.36 An oath test 
was prescribed for those who might be eligible to 
participate in the formation of such government ; 
those, too, who should be debarred from taking 
part in the formation of the new government. Ex- 
ecutive pardon was to be extended to those other- 
wise eligible, and who met the prescribed require- 
ments : — "But no man in the rebel States had any 
right to vote at that time until he had secured the 
Presidential pardon by taking the required oath." 
And further he says : — "An attempt to guarantee 
and protect a revived State government con- 
structed, in whole, or in preponderating part, from 
the very element against whose hostility and vio- 
lence it is to be protected, is simply absurd." In 
his address three days before his death, referring 
to the proclamation, December, 1863, he said : — 
"I distinctly stated that this is not the only plan 
which might possibly be acceptable." 

The amnesty proclamation issued Dec. 8th, 
1863,37 that of July, 1864, the message of February 
11th, 1865, and his last public address, three days 

36 See Lincoln's Address, April 11th, 1865'. 
"Letters and ad's., Vol. 12, 442-444. 


before his death, 38 all abound in reconstruction 
ideas, and are worthy of careful perusal, as also 
various other documents, directly and indirectly 
referring to this subject. 

On the 3d of February, 1865, at Hampton Roads, 
occurred one of the famous episodes of the War.39 
Mr. Seward bore the following instructions to the 
Confederate commissioners appointed by Mr. 
Davis : — "You will make known to them that three 
things are indispensable, to-wit : first, the restora- 
tion of the Nation's authority throughout all the 
States ; second, no receding by the Executive of the 
United States on the slavery "question from the 
position assumed thereon in the last annual mes- 
sage to Congress, and in preceding documents ; 
third, no cessation of hostilities short of the end 
of the War, and the disbanding of all forces hos- 
tile to the Government."40 

38 Letters and addresses. Vol. 2, 672. 

39 The Hampton Roads conference was projected by 
Francis P. Blair, Sr. Mr. Blair procured a pass from the 
President to go to Richmond and return. He went, how- 
ever, on his own initiative and responsibility, and with- 
out any authority to act or speak for the President. He 
secured a letter from Mr. Davis, expressing a willingness 
and desire for a conference looking towards relations of 
peace. In the answer by the President, "The explicit 
condition prescribed by Mr. Lincoln's note, sent through 
Mr. Blair, was that he would only receive an agent sent 
him with the view of securing peace to the people of our 
common country!" Mr. Davis substituted — the tico coun- 
tries in place of our common country, and appointed com- 
missioners, though he fully understood Lincoln's ultima- 
tum. (Nicolay & Hay, Vol. 10, 111-112). Mr. Benjamin, 
the rebel Secretary of State advised Davis to say, — 
"Upon the subject to which it relates," but "he could not 
forego masquerading as a champion." insisted on his own 
phraseology, appointed the commissioners, and with ab- 
surd duplicity, and sent them on terms rejected before- 
hand by Mr. Lincoln. — Nicolav & Hay. Vol. 10, 108-112. 
See Addresses, Vol. 2, 630-652. 

40 Nicolay & Hay, Vol. 10, 115. 


The President joined Mr. Seward at Fortress 
Monroe. The four hours' conference between them 
and the Confederate commissioners — Messrs. Ste- 
vens, Hunter and Campbell — on the River Queen, 
disclosed anew the frank, honest and kindly heart 
of the President towards the erring South ; but it 
demonstrated, as well, his uncompromising atti- 
tude as to official duties and personal dignity. No 
agreement could be entered into which might, in 
any way, recognize the States then in arms against 
the National Government, as a separate power, or 
what would tend to lessen the power of that Gov- 
ernment. No terms could be entertained or con- 
sidered which would violate in the least the great 
cardinal principles of the Administration. 

Military, Judicial and Executive powers were 
sharply delineated. In harmony with the other 
branches of authority, together with right and jus- 
tice, the Executive power, in case of reconciliation, 
would be administered with the utmost liberality. 

"In stating a single condition of peace," said Mr. 
Lincoln, "I mean simply to say that the War will 
cease on the part of the Government whenever it 
shall have ceased on the part of those who began 

So far as the Emancipation Proclamation was a 
judicial question, he would leave to the courts to 
decide; 41 but so far as he was concerned, "he 
would never change or modify the terms of the 
Proclamation in the slightest particular." An 

tt Reverdy Johnson pronounced the act judicially cor- 


armistice, in any form, was absolutely refused. 
West Virginia would remain a separate State.42 

His active, urgent and unyielding efforts for a 
Constitutional amendment abolishing slavery 
throughout the Union was rewarded by an act of 
Congress, passed three days before the Hampton 

«Nicolay & Hay, Vol. 10. 118-131. 

The Conference was informal. No memorandum was 
made at the time. No detailed report was given by Mr. 
Lincoln or Mr. Seward. The President reported to Con- 
gress the methods and means and conditions and cor- 
respondence by which the conference was brought about, 
together with the vital questions considered at the Con- 
ference. On their return to Richmond, the rebel com- 
missioners gave a brief account, written from memory, to 
Mr. Davis. Davis sent a message, embracing this report, 
to the Confederate Congress, with bitter and inflamma- 
tory statements, showing his chagrin and animosity. In 
his "War between the States," Mr. Stepnens writes quite 
fully on the Hampton Roads Conference and the discus- 
sions entered into, as also the result of the outcome at 
Richmond. A valuable and instructive article, from the 
pen of Hon. A. S. Colyar of Knoxville, Tenn., at the time 
of the Conference a member of the Confederate Congress, 
appeared in the Self Culture Magazine for May, 1900 ; 
also an article of value in the Forum for March, 1900. 
From these and other reliable sources we are able to secure 
a good idea of the Conference itself and its effect upon 
the South. An inside view of the hopelessness of General 
Lee and other leaders and other authorities is open to us. 
It appears that Hampton Roads Commissioners had come 
to the conclusion that independence was Impossible for 
them, and that the South should secure the best terms 
possible for settlement and that the Confederate Con- 
gress, the lower house especially were practically of the 
same opinion. The authorities at Richmond generally 
were disheartened at the failure of the Conference. Mr. 
Davis was chagrined and exasperated. He was for con- 
tinuing the War. His bitterness, defiance and treasonable 
spirit were at their* height. His bellicose bravado found 
utterance in most inflammatory speeches. Lincoln was 
denounced in the bitterest of terms, and titled as "His 
Majesty Abraham the First." 

Upon the action and course taken by Mr. Davis, Mr. 
Stevens gave up the Confederate cause as hopeless, with- 
drew from Richmond, abandoned the Rebellion and went 
into retirement. His signature to the brief public report 
of the commissioners stating the result of the Hampton 
Roads Conference was his last participation In the Ill- 
starred enterprise." 


Roads conference. Of this the Commissioners were 

On the President's persistent refusal, as a mat- 
ter of executive authority, or right, to enter into 
any agreement upon reconstruction, or other like 
matters, against rightful authority, with parties in 
arms against the Government, Mr. Hunter referred 
to such like instances between Charles I. of Eng- 
land and those in arms against him. Mr. Lincoln 
replied : — "I do not profess to be posted in history. 
On all such matters I will turn you over to Seward. 
All I distinctly remember about the case of Charles 
the I. is that he lost his head." 

In predicting what Lincoln's plan of reconstruc- 
tion would have been, much stress has sometimes 
been laid upon the pronunciamento — These States 
icere never out of the Union — and constructing 
therefrom an easy, tolerant plan — presumably Lin- 
coln's — by which the so-called seceded States might 
be restored, practically by a way of their own 
choosing. The following from the Christian Advo- 
cate of New York43 i s in the point : — "At the be- 
ginning of the reconstruction period immediately 
following the Civil War there was a disposition to 
wheel the seceded States back into the Union under 
any pretext, in order to secure the Southern vote 
for Andrew Johnson in the election of 1868. Even 
William H. Seward was infected with the desire. 
'How many States do we want on the flag'? he 
asked. 'Shall we not have them all'? 'Yes,' replied 
James Russell Lowell, 'as many fixed stars as you 
please, but no more shooting ones.' " 

43 July 25, 1912. 


Lincoln was no stickler for technicalities, only 
that just and proper ends might be reached. 

In the matter of adjusting reconstruction accord- 
ing to the status of the States, Lincoln is his own 
best interpreter. In his last public address, April 
11th, 1865, he says : — "We all agree that the seceded 
States, so-called, are out of their proper relation 
with the Union, and that the sole object of the 
Government, civil and military, in regard to those 
States as again to get them into that practical 
proper relation. I believe that it is not only pos- 
sible, but in fact easier, to do this without decid- 
ing, or even considering whether these States have 
ever been out of the Union, than with it. * * * 
Finding themselves safely at home it would be 
utterly immaterial whether they have ever been 
abroad. Let us all join in doing the acts neces- 
sary to restore the proper practical relations be- 
tween these States and the Union, and each forever 
after innocently indulge his own opinion whether in 
doing the acts he brought the States from without 
into the Union, or only gave them proper assistance, 
they never having been out of it." 

It is interesting and instructive to consider his 
comments on and approval of the Louisiana recon- 
struction act. The free-State constitution adopted 
in Louisiana gave benefit of public schools equally 
to black and white, and empowered the Legislature 
to confer the franchise on the colored man.44 

It might be instructive for those thinking Lincoln 
would have been loose in his methods to remember 
that in 1866 the Constitution of Louisiana, adopted 

"State Papers, 674. 

in 1869 in accord with Lincoln's proclamation of 
December, 1863, was pronounced fraudulent by 
those assuming power under Johnson. 

Gleaning thus Reconstruction ideas of Lincoln 
it is safe to note the following: 

The Union must be accepted, not as a confedera- 
tion of independent States, but States inseparably 
united under one general Government whose laws 
and Constitution are supreme. — Rebel State gov- 
ernments regarded as public enemies, not to be 
tolerated, but to give place to those established in 
accord with the laws and Constitution of the Na- 
tional Government. Until such rule becomes oper- 
ative, provisional governments should be estab- 
lished, and Courts provided for "all such parts of 
insurgent States and Territories as may be under 
control of the Government, whether by voluntary 
return to its allegiance and order, or by the power 
of our armies." Martial law to govern until other 
and proper government be provided. 

Freedom for the colored race, with guarantees 
of citizenship and proper elective franchise. 

Loyalty and fidelity to the National Government 
and the Constitution, including the Emancipation 
Proclamation and the amendment prohibiting slav- 
ery. Pardon and amnesty to follow sincere peni- 
tence, as shown by satisfactory evidence. In his 
own words: "When a man is sincerely penitent 
for his misdeeds and gives satisfactory evidence of 
it he can safely be pardoned." 

It was not in the heart of Lincoln to retaliate, to 
confiscate or to make desolate unless the exigencies 
of the case required it. The spirit here manifest is 
mirrored in the second Inaugural. 


E. Underhill. 

Dr. J. G. Vaughan. 

Louis Jacquot. L. B. Allan. Frank Harrington. 

To the Advice and Assistance of These Men the Author 
Wished to Offer His Thanks. 

At the shrine of Lincoln, with nearly fifty years 
stretching out between us and the War, marvelous 
progress in the Nation, and strange events in polit- 
ical history confront us. Time has somewhat 
dimmed the memory. The rancor of those crimson 
years of war has lost its keenness. The dire per- 
plexities of the reconstruction years were now for- 
gotten, save in the archives of our history, but for 
the spirit of the ante-bellum South, which some- 
times reasserts itself and brings to life and recol- 
lection what the Nation had to do to protect the 
loyal and the innocent, and to keep its plighted 
faith with a race of Freedmen ; and also, in its 
long drawn out attainment, deplorable but true, 
recall to mind unprincipled and tactless men who 
sometimes found place among officials appointed for 
that delicate, difficult and momentous work. But 
to forget that all, or the greater part of Federal 
officials in Reconstruction times were not men of 
graft and greed; — that "Carpet-baggers"* 5 were 

45 "How maligned has been that grandest word of the 
age — carpet-bagger. How Northern pen and tongue have 
joined with Southern tongue and pen in abusing these 
martyrs of to-day. chosen of God and precious. That 
word means your best civilization, carried by more cour- 
ageous souls than any who bore arms in the same field. 
* * * See your soldiers marching homeward, and rest- 
ing on his laurels — deservedly resting on deserved laurels. 
What shall lift up that despoiled land? That redemption 
must come from without. * * * See that vessel loading 
in this city for Hilton Head as soon as Beaufort ia 
captured. See the applicants for passage as teachers. 
See the delicate, the youthful men, the ministers and 
teachers crowding the office and clamoring to go for 
nothing, or the merest pittance. See aid societies or- 
ganizing in New York, Boston, Chicago and elsewhere. 
See the host pouring in almost as numerous as the host 
that has left. Bearing their carpet-bags, as they their 
knapsacks. They plant schools, they build churches. * * • 
They are assailed with insult and revolver ; fair maidens 
insulted with every damning epithet, yet serenely braving 
all for Christ and his poor children. O ye ribald revileri 


largely Christian teachers, and other well-designing 
men, who sought the good and welfare of the 
South ; — that law abiding men often faced danger 
and even death at times, beneath the folds of the 
Nation's banner ; — that all assassins were not dead 
when Booth, and Surratt, and Paine, and Spangler 
were in their graves ; — that all the South had not 
with heart surrendered when Lee, and Johnston, 
Gordon and Hood had laid down their arms. — To 
forget these things is to forget the facts of history. 
To consider that mercy in Abraham Lincoln would 
have looked with complacency upon the Nation's 
banner trailed in the dust, and the rebel flag chal- 
lenging the right to wave in its place; — that he 
would have looked with tolerance upon horrid and 
unprovoked crimes against law-abiding subjects of 
the Union ; — that he would have condoned the acts 
of lawless bands of masked maurauding despera- 
does, at times including leading citizens, and bent 
on death and crime ; — to consider these things as 
possible, is to acknowledge unwarrantable ignorance 
of the real character of our martyred President.^ 

of that sacred word ! Pronounce it reverently, for it is 
the word of Christ and Christianity to-day. Carpet- 
bagger is the true knight-errantry of the age." * * * 
— Bishop Gilbert Haven, St. Paul's M. E. Church, New 
York, from address. 

46 The spirit of Southern chivalry, not yet willing to 
brook interference resulted in Federal and military over- 
sight on the part of the Government, and the formation 
of bands of maurauders, the Ku Klux Klan, the White 
Camelia, and other like organizations — outlaws, — on the 
part of the people, — a menace to the officials and those 
known, or suspected even of being in sympathy with the 
Federal Government. Several historic novels have been 
written purporting to present the condition of things dur- 
ing the Reconstruction times. "The Leopard's Spots" 
was written by Thomas Dixon, an ultra Southern writer, 
who seems to see nothing or but little at best, in the 
activities of the South but good, while on the part of the 
Government he recognizes but little that was not abusive 


and bad, and yet as a matter of history the Carolinas 
were overrun with intimidation and death dealing acts of 
the Ku Klux raiders. His representation of Lincoln's 
attitude towards the colored people is so patently con- 
trary to facts that it is unworthy of any attempt to refu- 

"Red Rock" is another attempt to picture affairs in 
those times, and was written by the son of a Confederate 
soldier, Thomas Nelson Page. Mr. Page is a pleasing 
writer, but lacks correctness in historic data, and in this 
work, though he attempts to be impartial he was unable 
to overcome his prejudices. He presents some of the 
worst features of the most objectionable Government 
officials, and the Ku Klux as little less than honorable in 
their work of murder and destruction ; again some of 
the worst characters presented are colored Freed men 
and unprincipled Union men. He represents Lincoln's 
estimate of colored people by giving the statement of 
Douglas, at Galesburg, as the declaration of Lincoln 
while Lincoln at the time repudiated it as having ap- 
peared in a Clinton newspaper without truth or warrant." 

Again in the "Fool's Errand," and "Bricks Without 
Straw," Judge Tourje pictures his own observation in 
historic romance. This picture has been widely sub- 
stantiated by independent and impartial evidence and 
from known sources. — (See "A Chautauqua Boy in '61 
and afterwards," Grant's Memoirs, Sherman and many 
Dear Dr. Bullock : 

In your account of the Reconstruction in Virginia, I 
notice that you say — quoting from Hon. Charles A. 
Dana — "All loyal men, white and black, were to be called 
upon to vote in holding a State convention, while all 
rebels were to be excluded. 

Permit me to say this "exclusion" did not include all 
who had been rebels, but only those who refused to take 
the "Iron Clad Oath." This requirement aroused bitter 
feeling and caused bloodshed in some places. 

My father, K. G. Vaughan, (whose mother, Rachel 
Hanks, was a distant relative of Pres. Lincoln's mother) 
had charge of reconstruction matters in the western part 
of Virginia, with his office at Hillserville, Carroll Co., in 
or about the year 1867. As a matter of fact the disloy- 
alty of the people to the Federal Government was so 
great that father's life was imperiled and the family felt 
that he was in constant danger of being mobbed by 
Southern sympathizers. When, two years or so after the 
War, the rebel flag on the Court House at that place was 
taken down and replaced by the Union flag — under my 
father's supervision — the rioting was suppressed only by 
Union soldiers sent from Richmond. Some of the leaders 
in the rebel ranks refused to take the oath and were con- 
sequently permanently disfranchised. — Yours, J. G. 
Vaughan, Appleton, Wis. 

The requirements noted above were scarcely as stringent 
as those named by Lincoln. 


It is safe, however, to believe that Lincoln would 
have met the requirements of the advancing situa- 
tion as it developed. 

Lincoln's plan of reconstruction, it is certain, 
did not contemplate that unrepentant rebels should 
be placed in power and control, or that such should 
help to frame the laws and decide the ways and 
means by which the wayward States might claim 
full fellowship in the Nation's life and work. It 
did not contemplate nursing treason in the minds 
and hearts of growing generations. It did not con- 
template such like acts as the rearing of a monu- 
ment of honor to the monster fiend of Andersonville, 
whose conviction of untold murders of Union soldiers 
sent him to the felon's death.47 it did not contem- 
plate making sacred the flag and the emblems of se- 
cession, and the opening for them and their adoration 
the hall of National honor. It did not contemplate 
making a farce of Donaldson, and Shiloh, and 
Vicksburg, and Chattanooga, and Atlanta, of Bull 
Run, and Antietam, and Fredericksburg, and the 
Wilderness, of Cold Harbor, of Petersburg, and 
Appomattox ; of Hampton Roads, and Fort Fisher, 
and Mobile Bay. It did not comtemplate falsifying 
history,48 and making mockery of the tomb-covered 

47 See Tragedy of Andersonville, etc. 

48 There are women authors in the South whose writings 
are attractive, readable, and in ways valuable, women 
like Myrtle L. Avey of Virginia and Mary Helm of Ken- 
tucky, but whose pen-picturing of reconstruction in the 
South, and the fancifully drawn ideas of Lincoln-woirtd- 
have-been-attitude-concerning-it-had-he-lived, has no right- 
ful place in authentic history. This picturing sometimes 
reminds one of a wayward child and an overindulgent 

The author once knew a father who by thrift and 
care and the aid of wife and children had secured a sub- 
stantial fortune. One of the boys was wayward and had 


field of Gettysburg, and the heaven- inspired words 
of the consecration : — "The mystic chord of mem- 
ory, stretching from every battlefield and patriotic 
grave to every living heart and hearthstone all 
over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of 
the Union when again touched, as surely they will 
be, by the better angels of our nature." 

It did contemplate, rather, the "Olive Branch," 
not as a compromise but as a token of ratified vic- 
tory of the Union, of enduring peace and of brother- 
hood, exemplified, as it were, at Appomattox. It 
contemplated lasting honor to patriots who gave 
themselves to save the Union. It contemplated 
that the South-land should be done forever 

caused the parents and the balance of the family no little 
expense and trouble, but all obstacles were surmounted 
and the father succeeded. * * * The wayward child 
came to want and was in distress. The father-heart 
went out to the son. He was invited back to take his 
place in the home with the sole conditions of parental 
and filial allegiance. The boy was head-strong and put 
on an air of injured innocence. He played upon the 
father's sympathy, and suggested and even urged that he 
of all the family was the one best fitted to manage the 
estate according to his liking. The father was persu- 
aded. Without bonds, or guaranty, or legal provisions 
for the rights and the care of others in the family, the 
transfer was made, though marks of waywardness were 
still in evidence to the casual observer. — THE OUT- 
COME — The wayward boy repentant only in the seem- 
ing "or in spots," or restimulated to former spirit by a 
stubborn disloyal wife ; — the parents and other members 
of the family were turned adrift with what the re- 
instated boy and his companion might choose to give 

To think thus of Lincoln, successful in saving a Na- 
tion, for whose integrity and safety he had risked all, 
is to misunderstand the man who parallelled his mercy 
and tender-heartedness with commonsense integrity, judg- 
ment and honor. He had the legal acumen, to demand 
bonds and legal guarantees of the wayward South before 
turning over to her the National inheritance. These 
bonds and guarantees he did demand ; and there is no 
evidence that the strings of his sympathetic heart could 
have been so played upon that he would have done other- 
wise had he lived. 

with secession ; — that the children of Southern 
veterans, and the children's children, forever 
on, should keep the pledge their fathers made, 
and swear anew devotion and allegiance to the old 
Flag of the Nation. It contemplated the spirit of 
Watterson and Gordon and Joseph Wheeler and 
Henry Grady, and a host of others, who pledged 
anew the loyalty of the South, and swore lasting 
allegiance to the Stars and Stripes, and fealty to 
the Union. 

Let the memory of those dreadful years of car- 
nage ; — let the graves of more than a million 
heroes, who, with no uncertain aim, marched to 
battle; — let Confederate veterans, who furled for- 
ever the ensign of Secession, and then, with loyalty 
as undying as our own, swore fealty and allegiance 
to the Nation and its Flag ; — let the intelligence of 
the South which repudiates the antiquated order 
of things in Government ;49 — let the crimes of 

43 The South is becoming more tolerant of a free dis- 
cussion of its past and present policies. * * * This new 
spirit of liberality towards opposing views when expressed 
with sincerity and befitting decorum is perhaps the 
greatest incipient triumph of the twentieth century South. 
* * * We have reached the conclusion that calm history 
will not justify, however much it may explain, the seces- 
sionist movement of the sixties. — Prof. E. M. Banks, Uni- 
versity of Florida. 

On the fall of Richmond, Juda P. Benjamin, Davis' 
Secretary of State, went to England. When Davis was 
running away. Lincoln was asked, what course he (Lin- 
coln) would likely take should Davis be caught. The 
case reminded him of a story ; — "There was a boy in 
Springfield who saved up his money and bought a coon, 
which after the novelty wore off became a great nuisance. 
He was one day leading him through the streets and had 
his hands full to keep clear of the little vixen, who had 
torn the clothes half off him. At last he sat down on 
the curb-stone completely fagged out. A man passing by 
was stopped by the lad's disconsolate appearance, and 
asked what was the matter. 'O,' was the reply, 'this 


coon is such a trouble to me ;' 'Why don't you get rid of 
him then?' said the gentleman. 'Hush!' said the boy; 
'don't you see he's gnawing his rope off? I am going to 
let him do it, and then I'll go home and tell the folks he 
got away froyn me!'" 

In the afternoon of the day on which Mr. Lincoln 
was murdered, Charles A. Dana, Assistant Secretary of 
War, had received a telegram from the Provost Marshall 
of Portland, Maine, that Jacob Thompson was to be in 
that city that night, and to leave for Liverpool. Mr. 
Dana took the dispatch to the President, after having 
notified Stanton, and asked for orders. "What does 
Stanton say?" said Mr. Lincoln. "Arrest him!" was the 
reply. "Well," continued the President, "I rather guess 
not. When we have an elephant on hand, and he wants 
to run away, better let him run." — Charles A. Dana; 
Reminiscences, 875-376. 

A prominent lawyer, a friend of mine, once said to me : 
"It is said that at the Conference between Lincoln, 
Seward, and the rebel commissioners near Fortress Mon- 
roe, that 'Lincoln took a blank sheet of paper and wrote 
at the top UNION, then handed it to Stephens, saying : 
'You may write underneath whatever terms you choose, 
not conflicting with that, and I will sign it.' Is that 
true, did Lincoln do that?" My reply was, "No, I think 
not. It is like many of the stories attributed to Lincoln, 
somebody's imagination." 

For this story, I am sure there is no substantial evidence, 
or warrant in fact. On the contrary what we can glean 
from that conference is irreconcilable with anything of 
the kind. 

Presumably, and emphatically, it would have been con- 
trary to Lincoln's way of doing things. There was, be- 
sides too great importance pending upon that Conference, 
and there is nothing to corroberate it. 

At the opening of the Conference it was decided that 
there should be no notes, or record of the meeting taken. 

While an undivided Union was an absolute requirement, 
there were other requirements held as lndispensible, and 
so named in the President's instructions to Mr. Seward. 

The communication to Congress a week and more later 
bear no trace of such a thought, or incident. On the 
other hand there is strong contradictory evidence. Some 
ten years ago, Senator Tillman in an address in the 
Senate referred to this historic interview at Hampton 
Roads, and alleged the occurrence of the incident noted. 
Senator Vest of Missouri, the only surviving Confederate 
Senator, in answer, said : "John H. Regan of Texas, the 
only living member of Davis' Cabinet, had denied the 
statement, and that he, Mr. Vest, knew, though not 
present at the Conference, that the incident was without 
the slightest foundation, for he had heard the report of 
Mr. Stephens and Mr. Hunter from their own lips and 
the details of the Conference." 


Wirz and Jacob Thompson, and Jefferson Davis, 
who died "without a country," because he would 
not take the oath, but left his legacy to the child- 
hood and the women of the South, whom he 
charged to redeem Secession, and to rock anew its 
cradle ; — let the meaning of the War, with its fear- 
ful warning and its victory, come back to us from 
the graves of Lovejoy, and Crittenden, and Doug- 
las, and Logan, and Farragut, and Sherman, and 
Seward, and Grant, and Stanton, and a host of 
others; — let the spirit of our martyr chieftain, 
whose life and work and character are the Nation's 
treasure, who was the unyielding champion of Na- 
tional integrity, who was in harmony with the age 
and interests of an advancing civilization, and the 
true course of political and social progress ; — let 
these confront the sycophant and the flattering 
eulogist, who would turn back the dial of history, 
discredit the Nation's victory, and hush to silence 
the patriot who objects to maudling sympathy for 
the "Lost Cause," and its worshiping adherents ! ! 

Religious Life and Character. 

Lincoln was a believer in the Christian Religion, 
and died in the intelligent acceptance of a personal 
Saviour. This assertion is made with sufficient evi- 
dence in proof, and in the face of claims which 
have been made that he was sceptical, a Free- 
thinker, a Deist and even an Atheist. 

That there were times in the life of Lincoln when 
he doubted we do not care to question. In this he 
probably had the experience of thousands of others, 
and that too without permanent detriment to his 
religious character. A successful candidate for the 



I #* 

La 1 

^'^ J *' ■■< r 5 ^^ 


j^R^. \^ "** 


United States Senator of Wisconsin. 

Presidency of one of our Colleges was charged with 
some kind of religious heresy. The writer knew 
the man intimately, had been his roommate for two 
years, during our Theological studies, and was 
quite aware of the shallowness of such accusation. 
One of the College trustees questioned the accuser : 
— "Doctor, did you never doubt?" "I never had a 
doubt in my life," was the reply. "I pity you then 
most sincerely," said the official. Most men with 
keen, logical minds, want reasonable and substan- 
tial foundation for their conclusions, and not un- 
frequently are compelled to stop and doubt on the 
way. "There lives more faith in honest doubt," 
says Tennyson, "believe me, than in half the 
creeds." The young man Lincoln came in contact 
with books,so and men, and things in nature, mys- 
terious providences of God, and his own inner 
thoughts, which caused him to stop and question 
and doubt. But we may not forget, Thomas 
doubted and refused to believe without satisfactory 
evidence. Paul doubted, even to madness, as he 
himself declares. But he tells us how he lost his 
doubts, and came to recognize himself as a chosen 
vessel of the Master, whose followers he was on 
his way to persecute. Others, in the early cen- 
turies, doubted, who afterwards tested their faith 
in horrid death struggles in Roman amphitheaters. 
Thousands, down through the centuries, have 
doubted, but who, with doubts dispelled, have 
proven themselves men and women indeed of God. 
Some of you have doubted, but in spite of things 
you could not understand and the subterfuge of 

»Meth. Quart. Rev., Jan. -Feb., 1907, pp. 103-104. 
See Bishop Simpson's address. 

false profession and mere pretense, perhaps, you 
became anchored, at last, to the Eternal Rock, 
Christ Jesus. 

From earliest childhood to his majority, Lincoln 
was in the limelight of the best possible Christian 
instruction — a Christian home and a devout and 
intelligent Christian mother. Late in life he said : — 
"All that I am or hope to be I owe to my angel 
mother — blessings on her head."5i After he be- 
came President, speaking of his mother, he said: — 
"I remember her prayers, and they have always 
followed me. They have clung to me all my life."52 
His step-mother was greatly attached to him, and 
spared no pains in her care for his religious train- 
ing, and character upbuilding. This love and care 
of a mother were duly reciprocated in lasting filial 
regard and affection.53 

From childhood on he was a reader and a student 
of the Bible. Says Mr. Arnold, a life-long friend 
of Mr. Lincoln : — "I never yet have seen the man 
more familiar with the Bible than Abraham Lin- 
coln. At the Executive Mansion, the early morn- 
ing hour, while others were at rest, was spent in 
prayer and Bible reading."54 Says Dr. Holland : — 
"I can never think of that toil-worn man, rising 
long before his household and spending an hour 
with his Maker and his Bible, without tears. * * * 
Aye, what tears, what prayers, what aspirations, 
what lamentations, what struggles have been wit- 
nessed by the four walls of that quiet room ! There 
day after day while we have been sleeping has he 

51 D. D. Thompson, N. W. C. A., Feb. 3, 1908, p. 5, 133. 
62 D. D. Thompson, N. W. C. A., Feb. 3, 1908, p. 5, 133. 
°M. J. Evan Jones — Lincoln — Stanton — Grant, p. 3. 

M Arnold's Album. 


knelt and prayed for us, prayed for the country, 
prayed for wisdom and guidance, prayed for 
strength for his great mission. * * * The man 
who was so humble and so brotherly among men 
was bowed in filial humility before God. * * * 
A praying President! A praying statesman! A 
praying Commander-in-Chief of the armies and the 
navies ! Our foremost man, our noblest dignitary, 
kneeling, a simple hearted child before his heavenly 
Father ! He was a consecrated man — consecrated 
to his country and his God."55 

Bishop Simpson, and Bishop Ames whom he had 
known before the War, were among his closest 
friends and counselors, and often, at his invita- 
tion at the White House, they bowed with him in 
prayer. His confidence in God and in the efficacy 
of prayer, and his individual consecration to God, 
are well attested in the account he gives to Gen- 
eral Sickles, at the hospital, after the battle of 

^Orations, Vol. 19, 8079. 

Literary Digest, April 10, 1895. 

68 A member of General Sickle's staff, General Rusllng 
was called to see him, (Sickles,) and while there Mr. 
Lincoln called, with his son Tad. We let General J. R. 
Rusling tell the story in brief : 

"He (Mr. Lincoln) greeted Sickles very heartily and 
kindly, of course, and complimented him on his stout 
fight at Gettysburg, * * * but Sickles was dubious and 
diplomatic, as became so astute a man. * * * Presently, 
General Sickles turned to him, and asked what he thought 
during the Gettysburg campaign, and whether he was not 
anxious about it? 

"Mr. Lincoln gravely replied, no, he was not ; that 
some of his Cabinet and many others in Washington 
were, but that he himself had no fears. General Sickles 
inquired how this was, and seemed curious about it. Mr. 
Lincoln hesitated, but finally replied : 'Well, I will tell 
you how it was. In the pinch of your compaign up there, 
when everybody seemed panic-stricken, and nobody could 
tell what was going to happen, oppressed by the gravity 


The Emancipation Proclamation was born in 
prayer, and in consultation with such men as 
Bishop Simpson ; and its execution was in fulfill- 
ment of a promise made to God in prayer.57 

Our highest, our foremost man was not too great 
to ask advice of others, nor was he too small to 
ask counsel of the King of kings. 

"Lincoln was a man of strong religious convic- 
tions," says Mr. McCulloch, "but he cared nothing 
for dogmas of churches, and had but little respect 
for their creeds. "58 Had some of us lived seventy 

of our affairs I went into my room one day and locked 
the door, and got down on my knees before Almighty 
God, and prayed to him mightily for victory at G?ttys- 
burg. I told him this was his war-, and our cause his 
cause. * * * And I then and there made a solemn vow 
to Almighty God that if he would stand by our boys at 
Gettysburg I would stand by Him. And He did, and I 
will. And after that (I don't know how it was and I 
can't explain it) but soon a sweet comfort crept into my 
soul that things would go all right at Gettysburg, and 
that is why I had no fears about you.' He said this 
solemnly and pathetically, as if from the very depths ot 
his heart, and both Sickles and I were deeply touched by 
his manner." — Oen'l James R. Rusirng. 

Of course, I do not give his exact words, but very 
nearly his words, and his ideas precisely. 

"See Maj. E. A. Jones, p. 48; Raymond's Life and 
State Papers, p. 765. 

58 Hugh McCulloch, Comptroller of Currency, afterward 
Sec'y Treasury under Lincoln. 

"The church (in Springfield) was filled that morning. 
It was a good-sized church, but on that day all the seats 
were filled. I had chosen for my text the words : 'Ye 
must be born again,' and during the course of my ser- 
mon I laid particular stress on the word 'must.' Mr. 
Lincoln came into the church after the services had com- 
menced. * * * I noticed that Mr. Lincoln appeared to 
be deeply interested in the sermon. A few days after 
that Sunday Mr. Lincoln called on me and informed me 
that he had been greatly impressed with my remarks on 
Sunday and that he had come to talk with me further on 
the matter. I invited him in, and my wife and I talked 
and prayed with him for hours. Now, I have seen many 
persons converted ; I have seen hundreds brought to 
Christ, and if ever a person was converted, Abraham Lin- 
coln was converted that night in my house. His wife 


years ago, or even less, when churches were bat- 
tling with each other over non-essentials of their 
creeds, and seemed to care far more for the letter 
than the spirit of the Gospel, we might have looked 
as Lincoln did upon non-essential dogmas. 

Recent evidence comes to us, which is beyond all 
question, that years before the War, even in his 
young manhood, Lincoln was a converted man, and 
that he recognized the fact. This is the keystone 
long lost to sight, but which was thought must be 
somewhere buried in the relics of the years. It 
completes the symmetry of a life inexplicable with- 
out it.59 

was a Presbyterian, but from remarks be made to me he 
could not accept Calvinism. He never joined my church, 
but I will always believe that since that night Abraham 
Lincoln lived and died a Christian gentleman." 

69 See N. Y. C. Adv. 

See Farewell address on leaving Springfield. 

"Answer to Illinois Clergymen." 

"Talk with Mrs. Pomeroy, while Tad is sick, after 
Willie's death ; talk with State Supt. Bateman. 

"Mr. Lincoln said in trembling voice, and cheeks wet 
with tears : — 'I know there is a God. and that He hates 
injustice and slavery. I see the storm coming, and I 
know that His hand is in it. If He has a place and a 
work for me. — and I think He has — I believe I am ready. 
I am nothing, but truth is everything. I know I am 
right, because I know liberty is right ; for Christ teaches 
it, and Christ is God." 

Jacques, Statement C. A., Nov. 15, 1909. 

Rev. James F. Jacques, at the time noted, pastor of the 
Methodist Episcopal church in Springfield, 1839, late 
Pres. of Quincy College, and during the War, Colonel of 
the Preachers' Regiment — the 73d 111. Vols. — See Chris- 
tian Advocate, Nov. 11, 1809 and report of the Eleventh 
Annual Ke-union, Survivors of the Seventy-third Regt. 

The surmise that Lincoln was an unbeliever, has/ been 
handed down, largely, in the judgment of the author, 
directly and indirectly from the representation of Mr. 
Herndon, Mr. Lincoln's law partner. Mr. Herndon was 
a rank "free thinker," and sought, as is shown in his 
representation of Lincoln's religious views, to picture 
him in this respect as a man of his own thinking. Direct 
evidence is all against such representation. Robert Lin- 
coln, the President's son modestly declares against It 


Literary Style and Oratory. 

Four hundred years ago, under the corporate 
management of Oxford University, Brasenose Col- 
lege was founded. On the walls of this historic 
school there hangs today an engrossed fac-simile 
copy of Abraham Lincoln's letter to Mrs. Bixby of 
Boston, — "As a specimen of the purest English and 
most elegant diction extant. It is said that as 
model of expressive English, it has rarely, if ever, 
been surpassed." 

On the 19th of November, 1863, the Battlefield 
of Gettysburg was dedicated as a National Ceme- 
tery. Edward Everett was the chosen orator, and 
he delivered a most scholarly address. Weeks be- 
fore, Governor Curtain of Pennsylvania, and the 
Governors of sixteen other States, whose soldiers 
had participated in the battle, urgently requested 
Mr. Lincoln, as Chief Executive, to be present, to 
participate in the ceremonies, and to consecrate the 
grounds. President Lincoln followed Mr. Everett 
with a few brief sentences. The following day 
Mr. Everett wrote to Mr. Lincoln: — " * * * 
Permit me to express my great admiration of the 
thoughts expressed by you, with such eloquent sim- 
plicity and appropriateness, at the consecration of 
the Cemetery. I should be glad if I could flatter 
myself that I came as near to the central idea of 

Being asked in reference to this, he replied : — "I cannot 
undertake to verify any questions or statements made 
from authors of works upon his life, and least of all those 
emanating from William Herndon." Declining to speak 
at length ("It would take all my time were I to answer 
all queries.") — he referred to the life of his father writ- 
ten by Hon. Isaac N. Arnold as being the best he had 
seen respecting It. 





v, §3 s 



i t 

the occasion, in two hours, as you did In two 

Gladstone said of this address: — "Its ideals are 
loftier than have been uttered from a throne in all 
the annals of history." 

After the first Inaugural, comments were being 
made, and suggestions that Seward had to do with 
it. Judge Jeremiah Black, a man of the highest 
culture, the brains of the Buchanan administration, 
and one of the greatest of lawyers, said : — "Gentle- 
men, we have underrated the man from Illinois. 
There is but one man in America that could write 
that document, and that is not William H. Seward. 
We shall find Mr. Lincoln the brainiest man on the 

Of the second Inaugural, Mr. Gladstone said: — 
"I am led captive by so striking an utterance as 
this. * * * It gives evidence of a moral eleva- 
tion most rare in statesmen or in any other man." 
A prominent London paper at the time pronounced 
that Inaugural : — "The noblest political document 
known in history." While Mr. Emerson said: — "It 
will outlive anything that has been printed in the 
English language." 

Whence and where and how came that power of 
thought and speech which gives utterance to golden 
sentences which have become classic, and are pro- 
nounced by the best literary critics of the world as 
among the few great masterpieces of human 
speech? Mr. Choate gives direction to our search 
when, noting the Cooper Institute address, he 
says : — "It was marvelous to see how that un- 
tutored man, by mere self discipline and chastening 


of his own spirit, had outgrown all meretritious 
arts and found his way to the grandeur and 
strength of absolute simplicity."60 

The key that unlocks that mystery is not the 
miracle, or some freak of human nature, but the 
genius of the man, with native powers equal to the 
best, wisely and carefully cultivated, under Divine 
direction, and kept in use. He lived in vigorous 
contact with men and events. These he mastered 
and made the truth a part of himself. When he 
wrote or spoke it was usually after mature delib- 
eration, and straight to the point. Says Mr. Choate : 
— "What Lowell calls the great simplicities of the 
Bible, with which he was so familiar, were re- 
flected in his discourses." 

Lincoln took as his literary model, and constant 
study, his mother's gift to him, the Book most read, 
and the greatest masterpiece of literature the world 
has ever known, the Bible. In his letters and in 
his speeches the spirit of the Bible was always 
manifest, and its language was at his tongue's end. 
Like Shakespeare, too, he had the grasp of thought 
and human nature and trained himself to speak 
in the simple, clear and effective Anglo Saxon — 
the language of the Common people. 

80 Mr. Joseph H. Choate has told something of the occa- 
sion and of the address of Lincoln at Cooper Institute : — 
"It was a great audience, including all the noted men — 
all the learned and cultured of his party In New York, 
editors, clergymen, statesmen, lawyers, merchants, critics. 
* * * For an hour and a half he held his audience in the 
hollow of his hand." After the address, a Yale professor, 
who was present and heard the address, sought him out 
at his hotel. He stated that he had been greatly inter- 
ested in listening to him and was anxious to know when 
and where he had acquired his marvelous power as a pub- 
lic speaker. Surprised at being thus approached. Lin- 
coln conld only answer that his sole training had been 
tn the School of Experience. 


Aii incident for illustration may be in point. Col. 
J. G. Wilson was dining with the President, when 
late in the evening, Secretary Seward and E. B. 
Washburn were announced. "Mr. Seward said 
'they had desired to show the President the large 
gold medal just received from the Philadelphia 
Mint, voted by Congress to General Grant for the 
capture of Vicksburg.' Mr. Lincoln, approaching a 
small center table on which there was a drop light, 
opened the morocco case containing the medal up- 
side down. After a long pause Col. Wilson ven- 
tured to remark, 'What is the obverse of the medal, 
Mr. President'? He looked up and turning to Mr. 
Seward, said: 'I suppose the Colonel means 'tother 
side.' There was no sting in this and Mr. Wilson 
joined in the general laugh."6i 

A Wonderful Era and Its Crisis. 

A marvelous era is in forming ; — an era of vast 
significance and of world-wide importance. Free 
government is under trial. The foundations are 
being tested, and the whole world, with credulous 
eye, is looking on to see the experiment. Through 
somewhat clarified skies we may now look back 
upon a National drama, with the crisis of an era, 
and judge as we could not when the clouds were 
gathering and the storm was bursting in its fury. 

A Nation conceived by the wisdom of God, 
brought forth in the pain and suffering poverty of 
patriots, cradled in the rude, but bounteous lap of 
a new continent and nourished by the wholesome 
truths of the Declaration of '76 and the Cbnstitu- 

61 Putnam's Magazine, February, 1909. 


tion of '87. Rising from her cradle, she lays aside 
her swaddling clothes, looks out upon her Eastern 
seaboard, and adds to it the Summer gardens of 
the Gulf; and in her youthful vigor steps out be- 
yond majectic water-ways, touches the Rio Grande, 
crosses broad plains which touch the horizon at 
every point ; climbs mountain ranges, colossal in 
size, full of costly treasures, and which challenge 
the world for scenes sublime and grand, then 
crosses plateaus and valleys, the very garden of 
the world, quaffs the breeze of the Western Ocean, 
and claims the better portion of a Continent as 
its own. 

Such, in brief, is the material outline of a youth- 
ful Nation, bequeathed to us by the fathers, and 
won by her own inherent powers ; — a promising 
child, with inner life most vigorous, with heart and 
brain in touch with the accumulated wisdom of the 
ages, and calculated to satisfy the political wants 
and temporal longings of aspiring humanity. 

Valuable treasures and worthy ends, however, 
are not easy to attain and are sometimes costly in 
the winning. The Government bequeathed to us 
was the masterpiece of the ages past, but it was 
not without its inborn weakness and outward para- 
sites. For seventy years and more the people had 
to grapple with questions which threatened to de- 
stroy, and only won at last in the supreme fight of 
history. Conflicting ideas of Colonial rights and 
Federal control, which played so large a part in 
the Federal Convention of 1787, were nursed to 
abnormal strength by the growing power of slavery, 
until compromise added to compromise, and laws 

unsavory and unjust gave place to threats of dis- 
union and the maturing plans of secession. 

The Presidential election of 1860 precipitated the 
movement. The doctrine of State sovereignty re- 
asserted itself and caused eleven states to attempt 
secession. The innate and fundamental incentive, 
however, was the antiquated but cherished institu- 
tion of the South, Negro slavery. 

Talents and Qualifications Needed. 

To meet the culminating issues, and to lead in 
the final conflict, a man of rare talents and those 
of the highest order was needed ; — a man fitted by 
the keenest perceptions, by the most stable powers 
of the intellect, by the best qualities of the heart, 
by the noblest traits of character, and by proper 
education for the work ; — a man possessed of rea- 
soning powers of the first order, but who could so 
control his reason as not to allow it to become the 
slave of feeling ; — a man with singleness of purpose 
and uncompromising allegiance to the Federal 
Union ; — a man in touch with humanity at its 
various points, and charitable for those who might 
differ with him in' opinion ; — a man who could 
weigh with marked accuracy the logic of passing 
events, with the foundation principles of the Gov- 
ernment : — a man with prophetic insight to grasp 
something of God's purpose in the continued mis- 
sion of the Nation. For this rare and perilous 
work which meant so much to the Nation, to the 
entire world and to the welfare of coming genera- 
tions, a leader proportionate to the work was 
needed. A Wilberforce in unruffled ardor and "in- 

tense fellow feeling for others ;" — a Columbus in 
persistency ; — a Hastings in ambition, but unsullied 
by lust of gain or power ; — a Phillips in devotion 
to human rights; — a Nehemiah in wise and con- 
servative action ; — a Hampden in honesty and de- 
termination ; — a William the Silent in sagacity ; — 
a Winkleried in patriotism; — in political acumen a 
more than Pitt, Mirabeau or Mazzini ; — in high 
moral purpose and lofty heroic will a Gustavus 
Adolphus ; — an Abraham in faith ; — in statesman- 
ship a Cromwell, a Cavour, a Bismark ; — in courage, 
integrity and justice a Washington ; — a Moses in 

The Man, the Discovery, the Selection. 

God alone could divine the man and give direc- 
tion to the training. The Kentucky cabin, the In- 
diana forest, the river flat-boat, the shambles of 
New Orleans, the prairies of Illinois, the back- 
woods and rustic society, rude and sometimes boor- 
ish mates ; — the shoeless feet, the buckskin pants, 
the coonskin cap ; — the bashful mien, the weeping 
orphan, the rollicking boy, the champion athlete, 
the sorrowing lover, the pioneer farmer lad, the 
rail splitter, the rural tradesman, the lawyer's 
office, the successful suiter, the mirthful melancholy 
face, — did not hide from God the man he wanted. 
In due time the people of the West discovered the 
leader, the East discerned his ability and the Na- 
tion selected even better than it knew. No nation 
in the world can boast of greater men, and greater 
statesmen than the founders of our Nation, and 
their successors. We are proud of the record; but 


it was reserved for Abraham Lincoln to lead in the 
culmination of the conflict for free government and 
a united Nation. 

Promethius Unbound. 

"Truth shall restore the light by Nature given, 
And like Promethius, bring the fire from heaven." 

— Campbell. 

Reader, you have seen, perchance, a captive eagle 
and watched him looking out upon his native ele- 
ment and struggling to be free. His piercing eye 
turns here and there, and upward, and then meets 
yours as though to beg your help to set him free. 
The way at last is open, the captive monarch moves 
out into his native air, looks around as though to 
thank his benefactor, and then moves out in trial 
of his powers of flight. He lights upon some lofty 
tree and prunes his plumage, then soars aloft to 
the distant crag and prunes again his wings for an- 
other flight He takes survey of his surroundings, 
turns witsfully to the mountain heights, then floats 
out upon the air and mounts upward in his flight, 
higher, and higher, and higher still, until at last 
he's lost to sight in the blue of the upper sky. 

So it seems with Lincoln. The splendid powers 
of his remarkable intellect, the noble qualities of 
his great heart, the vigorous elements of his aspir- 
ing soul, were hemmed in by the environments of 
his early life; but little by little, mainly by his 
own exertions, and the opening ways of Providence, 
the barriers give way, and a great soul, as yet 
ignorant of its mighty powers, moves out upon its 
upward flight. 



More than four hundred years before the 
Christian Era, Hippocrates, the father of Medical 
science, laid down this axiom : — "He seems to me 
to be the best physician who knows how to know 
beforehand what will happen." This axiom of that 
famous old Greek is as true of statesmanship as of 
Medical science. In our day Carl Schurz has said: 
— "Profound conviction of right and wrong is the 
basis of true statesmanship." Lowell declared : — 
"A profound common sense is the best genius for 
statemanship." Abraham Lincoln was pre-eminent- 
ly endowed with each and all of these qualities. 
Politics, or statesmanship, in this higher sense, was 
his native element. The Kentucky frontier, the 
Indiana farm, the grove and itinerant meetings, the 
Boonville courts, the river and flat boats, the coun- 
try store, the Black-Hawk war, the Legislature, 
and Congress even, were but the stopping places 
for him to prune his marvelous gifts and fit him 
for something yet to come. 

Lincoln the Lawyer. 

Lincoln had not a broad legal education. He 
had not the ability to handle the wrong side of a 
case as well as the right ; — nor had the inclination 
to do so. He hated sophistry and quibbles and 
crooked reasoning. He would not stoop to them 
himself or tolerate them in others. He was quick 
to grasp the vital point at issue, and to leave aside 
the nonessentials. It is a recognized fact, I believe, 
that one of the chief characteristics of a great law- 
yer is his ability in the statement of the case. 

Judge Jeremiah S. Black was one of the great 
lawyers of our country. Before the War he was 
trying a case before the Supreme Court of the 
United States. Juda P. Benjamin, later a member 
of the Cabinet of Jefferson Davis, and known as 
"the Brains of the Confederacy," was on the oppo- 
site side. Going out to lunch one day, one of the 
Judges ,( Judge Story) and Mr. Black were walking 
together. "Black," said the Judge, "That little 
Jew will state you out of court, if you aren't 
careful." Lincoln was pre-eminent here. He would 
often state a case with such clearness and concise- 
ness that argument thereafter was hardly neces- 
sary. He was unsurpassed as a jury lawyer, and 
had but few equals in the higher courts. His lucid 
statements and demonstration of facts, illustrated 
often with striking similes and pointed anecdotes, 
together with his unquestioned honesty, won for 
him the confidence of jurymen ; while his remark- 
able quickness in seeing the pivotal point, avoiding 
unimportant details and freeing from technicalities, 
and keeping to the front the vital points of a case 
were sure to secure the weighty consideration of 
the Bench. He had the moral instincts, the rigid 
honesty, the mental grasp, the keen analysis, the 
pitiless logic of a great lawyer. And in his prac- 
tice he rose as the peer of the ablest in his pro- 
fession, and stood indeed at the head of the Spring- 
field Bar.62 

82 He had a clearness of statement which was Itself an 
argument. * * * He was one of the most successful 
lawyers we ever had in the State. — Judge Thos. Drum- 

Frequently the Court would stop him any say : — "If 
that is the case, Brother Lincoln, we will hear the other 
side." * * * The strongest jury lawyer in the State. 


Lincoln was indeed a great lawyer ; so his con- 
temporaries have attested and so history will ever 
record. But even his success and leadership at the 
Bar proved but the place to prune his splendid 
powers for a higher flight and a greater end. 

He had the ability to perceive with almost intuitive 
quickness the decisive point in the case. — Isaac N. 

In order to bring into activity his great powers, it was 
necessary he should be convinced of the right and justice 
of the case he advocated. * * * In all elements that 
constituted the great lawyer, he had few equals. * * * 
He seized the great points of a case, and presented them 
with clearness and great compactness.— Judge David 

He neglected details because his thought, which "was 
as direct as light," passed instinctively to the vital spot, 
and all else seemed unimportant. "If I can free this 
case from technicalities and get it properly before the 
jury, I'll win it," he used to say. — Frederick Trever Hill. 

To illustrate the esteem in which he was held as a 
lawyer, Senator Cullum has said : — "I knew Lincoln from 
the time I was a mere lad, ten or twelve years old, and 
then before that time I remember that men came twenty 
or thirty miles to ask my father's judgment as to whom 
to employ as a lawyer in important cases. My father 
would say to them, 'If Stephen A. Logan is there employ 
him ; if not, there is a young man by the name of Lin- 
coln who will do almost as well.' " 

Says McKinley : — "He frequently defeated some of the 
most powerful legal minds in the West. In the higher 
courts he has won great distinction in the important 
cases committed to his charge." 

In his practice of more than twenty years, we are 
told, he had no less than one hundred and sixty-nine 
cases in the highest courts of Illinois ; a record unsur- 
passed by his contemporaries. 

His knowledge of human nature played an important 
part in his success. He tried more cases in the eighth 
circuit (his own — the Springfield) than any other mem- 
ber of that Bar. 

Lincoln had no apologies to make for the legal profes- 
sion ; he believed in his calling. He had no patience 
with the idea that honesty was not compatible with the 
practice of the law. He once said : — "Let no young man 
choosing the law as a calling yield to that popular be- 
lief. Resolve to be honest, at all events. If in your 
judgment you cannot be an honest lawyer, resolve to be 
honest without being a lawyer. Choose some other occu- 
pation rather than one in the choosing of which you do, 
in advance, consent to be a knave." 


Repeal of the Missouri Compromise. 

When Lincoln entered the Legislature of Illinois 
he was a young man. Douglas, the idol of his 
party, and later known as "The Little Giant of 
Illinois," was the Attorney General, and later mem- 
ber of the Legislature. Years pass on, Douglas is 
a member of the United States Senate. The slave 
power is becoming more and more aggressive. 
Douglas joins in the issue. He introduces the bill 
for the repeal of the Missouri Compromise ; — which 
action was designed to open Kansas and Nebraska 
for the extension of slavery. 

This action of Congress was the fateful turning 
point which resulted in the formation of the new 
Republican party. Lincoln is again summoned to 
the front. He leaves his law office and joins in the 
issue, hand in hand with Bissell and Lovejoy and 
Palmer and Logan and a host of others. Late in 
1854 he is pitted in the controversy against the 
author and champion of the act. He had pre- 
viously been known as the leader of his District, 
henceforth he is known as the foremost man of the 
State. * * * 

Bloomington Convention. 

In the spring of 1856 the opponents of slavery 
meet in State Convention, at Bloomington.63 "A 
group," says Mr. Curtis, "of earnest, zealous, sin- 
cere men, willing to make tremendous sacrifles and 
to undertake Titanic tasks." 

63 First Republican State convention, held at Blooming- 
ton, 111., May 29, 1856, composed of Abolitionists, Free 
Soil Whigs and Free State Democrats. Lincoln a dele- 
gate from Sangamon County. 


Various theories were entertained. Most had set 
ideas and clung to their own specialties and 
methods of work, and advocated such ideas as to 
ways and means ; — such indeed as to augur dis- 
aster and threaten defeat. While attending Court 
on his district, Lincoln had been elected as a dele- 
gate from Sangamon County. He was called upon 
to address the convention. He saw the danger of 
discord and disunited ideas as to means and meth- 
ods and the need as well of united and concerted 
action to reach the common purpose. He saw the 
crisis in the history of the Nation and sought to 
harmonize and combine the humane and patriotic 
emotion of this liberty-loving assembly of earnest 
and determined men. He rose sublimely to the full 
requirements and the occasion of the hour. He 
thrilled the audience as with a tongue of fire. It 
was a masterpiece of oratory and carried conviction 
to the hearts of the people. Here it is said : — "Un- 
der the influence of Lincoln's eloquence all the re- 
porters lost their heads." I cannot refrain from 
quoting here a few scattering sentences from this 
speech, so long supposed to have been lost. It gives 
expression to fundamental principles which swayed 
his thoughts and controlled his political action as a 
citizen and to which he adhered as Chief Executive 
of the Nation.64 

84 As one of the delegates from old Sangamon I am 
here certainly as a sympathizer in this movement. • * • 
I suppose we truly stand for the public opinion of Sanga- 
mon on the great question of the repeal. * * * We are 
in a trying time — it ranges 1 above mere party * * * for 
unless popular opinion makes itself very strongly felt, 
and a change Is made in our present course, blood will 
flow on account of Nebraska, and brother's hand will be 
raised against brother. * * * We must not promise 
what we ought not, lest we be called on to perform what 


we cannot. * * * We are here to stand firmly for a 
principle, to stand firmly for a right. * * * We have 
seen today that every shade of popular opinion is repre- 
sented here, with Freedom, or rather Free Soil, as the 
basis. * * * We have together in some sort representa- 
tives of popular opinion against the extension of slavery 
into territory now free in fact as well as by law, and 
the pledged word of statesmen of the Nation who are 
now no more. * * * We are here to demand and de- 
termine that slavery must be kept out or Kansas. * * * 
By every principle of law, a negro in Kansas is free ; yet 
the bogus legislature makes it an infamous crime to tell 
him that he is free. * * * In the eariy days of the Con- 
stitution slavery was recognized by the South and North 
alike as an evil and the division of sentiment about it 
was not controlled by geographical lines or consideration 
of climate, but by moral and philosophical principle. 

* * * In Kentucky — my native State — In 1849, on a 
test vote, * * * the State of Boone, and Hardin, and 
Henry Clay, with a nigger under each arm, took the 
black trail to the deadly swamp of barbarism. Is there, 
can there be any doubt ? * * * Can any man doubt 
that, even in spite of the people's will, slavery will tri- 
umph through violence, unless that will be made manifest 
and enforced? * * * The battle o' freedom is to be 
fought out on principle. Slavery is a violation of the 
eternal right. We have temporized with it from the 
necessity of our condition ; but as sure as God reigns 
and school children read, THAT BLACK FOUL LIE CAN 
TRUTH. * * * Can we as Christian men, and strong 
and free ourselves, wield the sledge or hold the iron 
which is to manacle anew an already oppressed race? 

The Union is undergoing a fearful strain, but it is a 
stout old ship, and has weathered many a hard blow, 
and "the stars in their courses," aye and invisible power, 
greater than the puny efforts of men, will fight for us. 
Let us revere the Declaration of Independence ; let us 
continue to obey the Constitution and the laws ; let us 
keep step to the music of the Union ; let us draw a 
cordon, so to speak, around the slave States, and the 
hateful institution, like a reptile poisoning itself, will 
perish by its own infamy. * * * We must reinstate the 
birthday promise of the Republic. We must reaffirm the 
Declaration of Independence. We must make good in 
essence as well as in form Madison's avowal that the 
word slave ought not to appear in the Constitution. 

* * * But in socking to attain these results, so indis- 
pensable, if the liberty which is our pride and boast shall 
endure, we will be loyal to the Constitution and to the 
"Flag of the Union," no matter what our grievance, even 
though Kansas shall come in as a slave State; and no 
matter what theirs — even though we restore the Com- 


Dred Scott Decision and Popular Sovereignty. 

Soon after the inauguration of President Buchan- 
an, followed the decision of the Supreme Court in 
the Dred Scott case, which decision carried with it 
the view that Congress itself could not prohibit 
slavery in the Territories, — as Bancroft puts it: — 
"The Chief Justice volunteers to come to the rescue 
of slavery," while Buchanan himself gives his en- 
dorsement that : — "Kansas is as much a slave State 
as South Carolina or Georgia ; — slavery by virtue 
of the Constitution exists in every Territory." The 
danger signal is thus fully unfurled. Douglas finds 
it necessary to attempt reconciliation between this 
decision and his pronounced ideas of Popular 
Sovereignty. To this end he returned from Wash- 
ington July 1st and made elaborate addresses on 
the subject at Springfield and elsewhere. Then 
came the determined effort of the President to force 
Kansas into the Union as a slave state under the 
bogus Lecompton constitution. To this Douglas 
shrewdly and strenuously objected and worthily led 
the opposition in the United States Senate. Lin- 
coln had watched the progress of affairs, carefully 
measured the trend and logical outcome and pre- 
pared himself for the battle. At the Republican 
State convention at Springfield in June, 1858, where 
he was declared to be the first and only choice of 
the convention for United States Senator, he gave 
his famous speech "A House divided against itself." 
* * * "I believe this government cannot endure 

UNION, AND YOU SHAN'T!!! * * * Our moderation 
and forbearance will stand us In good stead when. If 


half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union 
is to be dissolved — I do not expect the house to fall 
— but I do expect it will cease to be divided. * * *" 
These stentorian notes went forth through the land 
and evoked wide-spread response. Shortly after he 
was invited to be present at Clinton, where Doug- 
las was to speak. An immense crowd had gathered. 
The speaker was ingenius, evasive, forcible. He re- 
ferred to Lincoln's Springfield address in a slurring 
and critical manner. At the close there were loud 
cries for Lincoln, and upon the urgent request of 
the audience, he consented to speak in reply in 
the evening on the Court House square which he 
did. The address throughout was logical and con- 
vincing. The closing sentence I may quote as a 
declaration of lofty and inherent American States- 
manship. "Judge Douglas charges me with being 
in favor of Negro equality, and to the extent that 
he charges me I am not guilty. I am guilty of 
hating servitude and loving freedom ; and while I 
would not carry the equality of the races to the ex- 
tent charged by my adversary, I am happy to con- 
fess before you that in some things the black man 
is equal to the white. In the right to eat the bread 
his own hands have earned he is the equal of Judge 
Douglas or any other living man." 

Lincoln-Douglas Debate. 

In August, '58, Lincoln and Douglas meet in 
forensic debate on "Squatter Sovereignty,'" the pre- 
lude of the war of the Rebellion. The platform of 
the debate was Lincoln's Springfield address. The 
debate has come down to us without a parallel in 
its kind, and as one of the greatest events in Polit- 

ical history. These speeches of Lincoln easily stand 
among' the masterpieces of popular oratory and 
groundwork of American statesmanship. Stephen 
A. Douglas was a statesman. He had few equals 
and perhaps no superior as a debator, and on the 
hustings. They enter the arena as contestants for 
the United States Senate.. It was a battle of 
giants. The debate began at Ottawa, and at Free- 
port Lincoln puts to Douglas the pivotal question 
on Territorial rights to exclude slavery. 65 Friends 
of Lincoln had previously cautioned him against 
this interrogatory, saying : — "If you do you can 
never be Senator." "Gentlemen," replied Lincoln, 
"I am killing larger game ; if Douglas answers he 
can never be President, and the battle of 1860 is 
worth a hundred of this." Two years later the pre- 
diction came true. This irksome question showed 
the shrewdness and the foresight of the statesman 
and resulted in the division of Douglas' party and 
the election of Lincoln to the Presidency in 1860. 

Mr. Watterson refers to the debate as : — "The 
most extraordinary spectacle the annals of our 
party warfare affords. Lincoln enters the canvas 
unknown outside the State of Illinois. He closed 
it renowned from one end of the land to the other. 
* * * He followed this central shot," continues Mr. 
Watterson, "with volley after volley, of exposition 
so clear, of reasoning so close, of illustration so 

65 "Can the people of a United States Territory, in any 
lawful way, against the wishes of any citizen of the 
United States, exclude slavery from its limits, prior to 
the formation of a State Constitution"? 

Lincoln is said to have characterized Douglas' reply 
as follows : "It is thinner that homeopathic soup made 
of the boiled shadow of a Pigeon that has died of star- 


pointed, at times with humor so incisive, that 
though he lost the election, his defeat counted far 
more than Douglas' victory ; for it made him the 
logical candidate for the Presidency of the United 
States two years later." This deduction, as to re- 
sults, was certainly true as to the West, and he 
was thus favorably introduced to the East. On his 
return to Washington, Douglas said to Mr. Watter- 
son: — "He," (Lincoln,) "is the greatest debator I 
have ever met either here or anywhere else." 
After his election to the Presidency Douglas said 
to a group of Republican statesmen : — "Gentlemen, 
you certainly have selected a very able and a very 
honest man." 

His speech at Cooper Institute was universally 
recognized as a masterpiece of oratory and political 
logic. Says Mr. Choate: — "That wonderful speech 
led directly to his nomination and election as Presi- 
dent. * * * 'Let us have faith that right makes 
might,' that closing sentence rang through the city 
and the country."66 

In his way upward, Lincoln never resorted to the 
tricks of trade, legal, political or otherwise. He 
never acted the part of a demagogue ; he treated 
his opponents with fairness and consideration ! He 
never forgot the kindness and services of friends, 
and never turned his back upon them. He never 
sought to win by disparaging his opponents.67 He 

66 J. H. Choate — Abraham Lincoln. 

""Twenty years ago, Judge Douglas and I first be- 
came acquainted ; we were both young then ; he is a trifle 
younger than I. Even then we were both ambitious, I, 
perhaps, quite as much as he. With me the race of am- 
bition has been a flat failure. With him it has been a 
splendid success. His name fills the Nation, and it is 


won through merit and the well-earned confidence 
of the people. His Legislative experience, his legal 
work and political movements, however, with their 
increasing responsibilities, were an unconscious 
preparation for the greater and graver responsibili- 
ties awaiting him. 

The Wigwam. 

Some years ago, in student life, the writer 
chanced to see an electric display, unique and beau- 
tiful. It was a quiet evening. I had left my books 
and wandered out for exercise and rest. Some- 
how my eyes turned upward, and there before me 
appeared a spectacle such as I never saw before or 
since. Reader, you have seen the Northern Lights 
play wondrous witcheries, but here they seemed 
to burst their barriers. Above and nearly overhead, 
appeared a crown of light, strong, glittering and 
brilliant; and from that center, as from a blazing 
sun, went forth the gold and silver spangling, until 
the concave vault of heaven was draped with wav- 
ing light of wondrous beauty. The heavens ap- 
peared a jeweled crown. So I have thought the 
famous Wigwam in Chicago and the Convention by 
the lake, a crown of honor to the Nation, destined 
to spread its mellow light over all this land, and for 
ages yet to come. God's ways are sometimes 
strange and hard to understand. So it seemed to 
some at that Convention. But looking back through 
the vista of the years, and taking measure of the 
men, as later seen and known, and the ordeal 

not unknown in foreign lands. * * * I had rather stand 
on that eminence than to wear the richest crown that 
ever pressed a monarch's brow." 


through which the Nation was to pass, we see be- 
yond all question, in the choice of "Honest Old 
Abe," the rail splitter of Sangamon Bottom, the 
one whom God, foresooth, had chosen "to steer the 
ship through the great crisis." 

An incident or two in that Convention is here in 
point. The Republican party was in its youth and 
not yet homogeneous; there were differences of 
opinion as to the slavery question, the means and 
methods to be employed and the extent of inter- 
ference ; and there was grave danger of a rupture. 
A grand old man from the Western Reserve, Ohio, 
pleads for a sentence from the Declaration (All 
men created free and equal, etc.) to be embodied in 
the platform of the party. I see that grand old 
man to-day as I saw him when a boy, speaking to a 
class of students, and his earnest, eloquent words 
touch me now as they touched me then. The 
amendment was rejected, and Joshua R. Giddings, 
the gray haired veteran, representative man of 
the abolitionists, grieved and disappointed, left the 
room. Just at this crisis an earnest, eloquent, 
scholarly young man, appeared, and with a little 
change, renewed the amendment of Mr. Giddings, 
and in a speech most eloquent, stirred the entire 
Convention, and in closing cried out in his sweet 
stentorian voice: — "Is this Convention prepared to 
vote down the Declaration of our fathers, the char- 
ter of American liberty?" The amendment was 
carried almost unanimously and with great en- 

Mr. Giddings, having re-entered the hall, now 
urged his way through the surging crowd to the 
young man who had spoken, threw his arms around 


the neck of George William Curtis, and with tear* 
coursing down his cheeks, exclaimed : — "God blesl 
you, my boy. You have saved the Republican party. 
God bless you." This amendment was one of th« 
chief pillars of Lincoln's political creed. 

In western New York, a little boy,68 descended 
from Colonial parents and destined, himself, to be- 
come a man of letters, was watching the coming of 
a train on the New York Central, and scheduled for 
Chicago. The train went whirling by, and stretched 
along its side was a breadth of canvas and painted 
on it in large letters,— GOING TO CHICAGO TO 

That little boy. grown to manhood, told to the 
writer the story the other day and the impress 
made upon his mind. That little story took me 
captive, for it spread before me a living picture of 
more than momentary interest. The snap-shot of 
the little boy reached the climax of its develop- 
ment, and received its boldest, richest, finest, magic 
touch, at the Wigicam in Chicago. Senator Seward 
was a scholar and a statesman. As Governor of 
New York, and long time Senator of the United 
States, he made an enviable record. He was widely 
known as leader of his party. His "Irrepressible 
Conflict" given in Rochester, Oct., 1858, was a 
worthy companion of Lincoln's "House divided 
against itself," given at Springfield in June pre- 
ceding. That canvas display on the New York Cen- 
tral, was thought by delegates on the train, by 
Thurlow Weed, Mr. Everts, Mr. Osburn and other 

^Orando E. Clark, Appleton, Wis. 

Eastern lights to be the certain outcome of the Con- 
vention. It is now the 18th day of May, the third 
of the Convention ; the third ballot has been taken ; 
a vote or two is lacking for the nomination, Ohio 
changes four ballots from Chase, — Lincoln is the 
nominee ! The Convention goes wild ! ! — As soon as 
quiet is restored sufficiently, William M. Everts, 
Chairman of the New York delegation, ascends the 
platform and addresses the speaker, saying : — "Mr. 
Chairman, we come from a great State, with a 
great candidate whom we hoped to see nominated. 
In the name of that great State and by request of 
that great candidate, I move that the nomination of 
Abraham Lincoln be made unanimous." Cheers 
and deafening yells echoed and re-echoed through 
that great building; the nomination was pro- 
claimed from the house top and sounded forth 
from the cannon's mouth on the street below, and 
inj unnumbered telegraph offices the little brass 
fingers clicked the news through all the land. In 
the office in Springfield the message was handed to 
Lincoln. He read it over, then read it aloud, and 
without waiting farther said : — "There is a little 
woman at our home who will like to see it. I'll 
go down and tell her."69 

The Interim. 

When Lincoln was elected President, Secession, 
as we have come to know was in an advanced state 
of preparation, and when he took his place war 
was imminent ; with the Nation's navy scattered, 

69 This and numerous other such like incidents speak 
forcibly as to the affectionate and confidential relations 
between Lincoln and his wife. 


arsenals stripped, the treasury empty and the Na- 
tion's credit at low ebb. 

The four months between the election and the in- 
auguration form a dark, weary, gruesome chapter 
in the Nation's history. A weak and irresolute old 
man was in the Executive chair,™ questioning 
the while his right to suppress insurrection and re- 
strain insurgent States in acts of rebellion against 
the government, and seeking to shift the responsi- 
bility of his own administration upon that of his 
successorJi High treason was crouching at the 

70 The outgoing President was not a Statesman in the 
higher sense, and of the first class. He was weak and 
vacileating. He was wanting in executive ability, and 
lacked self-assertion and the essential qualities of leader- 
ship. He was always behind in important crises, but 
managed to be at the front and ready to be counted in 
the time of victory. He was a pro-slavery Democrat, and 
his political proclivities were strongly Southern. He was 
really loyal to the Government and did not want to see 
the Union dismembered. His idea of the real character 
of the Constitution, however, and of the Government 
seem vague and incoherent. He seems to have been thor- 
oughly tinctured with States' Rights ideas. 

"General Duff Green went to Springfield in December, 
1860, as an emissary of Pres. Buchanan to invite the 
President-elect to Washington for a conference upon the 
situation, with the hope that his presence there might 
prevent Civil war, and General Green was bold enough to 
tell him if he did not go, "Upon his conscience must rest 
the blood that would be shed." Here Lincoln's political 
shrewdness and diplomacy were demonstrated in as con- 
spicuous a manner perhaps as at any other crisis in his 
life. He detected at once the intention to unload upon 
him the responsibility of a disunion and war and met it 
with a counter proposition, which must have excited the 
admiration of the conspirators who were trying to en- 
trap him. He received General Green with great cour- 
tesy, heard him with respectful attention and gave him 
a letter in which he said he did not desire any amend- 
ment to the Constitution, although he recognized the 
right of the American people to adopt one ; that he be- 
lieved in maintaining inviolate the right of each State 
to control its own domestic institutions : and that he 
considered the lawless invasion by armed force of the 
soil of any State or territory as the gravest of crimes. 
While these were his sentiments, and while they indl- 


door, boldly scheming, and secretly planning to 
make secession a settled fact before the Ides of 
March. Traitors were in the Cabinet,"^ plundering 
and disarming the Government, strengthening their 
allies in treason and plotting to render powerless 
the incoming President. Conspirators, red-handed 
and alert, were in Congress plotting treason and 
planning the destruction of the Union. Treachery 
stalked abroad, bold and defiant, while patriots 
looked on powerless to interfere, but praying God 
to speed the coming of the chosen leader. Lincoln 
was at home, watchful, anxious, reticent, hopeful, 
firm and determined, trustful in the loyalty of the 
masses and in the God of nations. 

On the eleventh day of February, entrusted with 
his great mission, with a dreadful ordeal, dangers 
untold and difficulties unmeasured, before him, and 
with a most pathetic parting with old friends and 
neighbors, 1 ^ Lincoln, with his family, left his home 
in Springfield, to which he was never to return. 
After a noteworthy and historic journey, he reached 
Washington on the morning of February 23d, hav- 
ing safely escaped the assassination deliberately 
planned at Baltimore, and discovered by the Pink- 
erton detectives. 

Buchanan turned over the Government to his suc- 
cessor in a state of civil war. Until nearly the 

cated the policy he should pursue as President he would 
not consent to their publication unless the Senators from 
Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, Louisiana and 
Texas would sign a pledge which he had written below 
hia signature to this letter, and upon the same piece of 
paper. — Curtis. 

"John B. Floyd, Secretary of War; Isaac Toucey, Sec- 
retary of the Isavy ; Howell Cobb, Secretary of the Treas- 
ury : Jacob Thompson, Secretary of the Interior. 

78 See Farewell Address, Appendix. 


close of his administration the majority of his 
Cabinet were avowed disunionists, and were using 
their various positions to advance the aims and 
ends of secession, while their Chief doubted and 
philosophized upon the Constitutional rights of 
coertion ; "Imitating Nero," as some one has said, 
"who fiddled while Rome was burning." 

The Leader. 

We tremble when we look back upon the scene 
and see the dreadfulness of the conflict as no one 
then could understand it. — The shades of the 
fathers who gave us the Nation seem to rise in pro- 
test and ask for a leader upon whom might fall 
their sacred mantle, and save what they had won. 

In the restrospect of fifty years we can now anal- 
yze the peculiarities of the Conflict as we could not 
then, and judge of the combination of qualities, 
gifts and abilities needed for that leadership as now 
seen actually mirrored in the characteristics, activ- 
ities and success of the leader himself. — A man 
self-poised, honest, gentle, tolerant of the opinions 
of others, sympathetic but stern in pushing the 
battle for the right ; wise, unselfish, tenderhearted, 
broadminded and impartial ; hopeful, farsight ed 
and of a long suffering patience "that had in it 
something of the divine ;" a man of legally dis- 
ciplined mind, of military strategic thought, and un- 
dying courage ; reticent, self-reliant but free from 
arrogance of opinion ; a man of candor, and big 
enough to see his own littleness and limitations, 
and willing to learn from experience and from 
others ; a statesman of the highest rank, — one 


who would never compromise with principle, though 
not refusing concession as to time and methods 
when needful ; who would take God into account, 
firm in unyielding faith that right makes might. 
Such we have come to see were the qualities in part 
needed for that leadership. 

On the fourth of March, 1861, a large assembly 
had gathered about the Eastern portico of the 
Capitol at Washington. Upon a wooden platform 
fronting that crowd of waiting people, was a cortege 
of officers and distinguished guests. Under direc- 
tion of General Winfield Scott, United States 
soldiers had been duly stationed at various points. 
On the platform was a table on which lay the Holy 
Bible. With the utmost composure the speaker to 
be took off his hat, Stephen A. Douglas reached out, 
received and held it during the address. Senator 
Edward Baker, an old-time friend, introduced the 
man. Chief Justice Taney administered the oath 
of office. The speaker is described as : — "A tall, un- 
gainly man, wearing a black suit, a black tie be- 
neath a turned down collar, a black silk hat and 
steel rimmed' spectacles ; — His features were an- 
gular, his skin dark and his hair almost black, 
slightly sprinkled with gray ; his eyebrows very 
heavy and prominent ; his eyes were deeply set, 
gray and penetrating in their look ; his well formed 
head was well poised on a neck neat and trim ; his 
looks were sad and melancholy !" "His self posses- 
sion," says Mr. Watterson, "was perfect. Dignity 
itself could not have been more unexcited. His 
voice was a little high pitched, but resonant, his 
expression was serious to the point of gravity, not 


a scintilation of humor. It is only true to say that 
he delivered that Inaugural address as though he 
had been delivering Inaugural addresses all his 

That address 74 has now become classic, and he 
who gave it was to be the Nation's leader through 
the most critical and trying period of the Nation's 

Knotty and most intricate problems were to be 
solved. Stupendous burdens were to be borne. "The 
perplexing compound," as he termed it, "Union and 
slavery," was in the seething caldron. There was a 
maze of diverse and conflicting ideas even among 
those who were for the Union.75 To save the Na- 
tion he must find his way through some adjustment 
of these differing views as well as meet the open 
foe. The way before him was one of blood and 
tears and death. He was facing a war which 
proved to be one of the greatest wars in history ; — 
a war whose responsibilities and heart-breaking ex- 
periences were sufficient to wear out any ordinary 
man. The people did not know the man then as we 
know him now ; indeed he had not taken full meas- 
ure of himself, and none but God could understand 
the needs of the coming ordeal and take the 
measure of the man He wanted. 

It was thought by some that he was overmatched 
by his principal rivals for the Presidency, and 
would be overshadowed by the statesmen of the 

74 See First Inaugural — In part, Appendix. 

75 He said: — "There were those for the Union with, 
but not without slavery ; those who were for it without, 
but not with ; those for it with or without but who 
preferred it with ; and those for it with or without but 
who preferred it without." 



day. Failure was predicted, but fear was soon 
dispelled. He summoned to his Cabinet, as coun- 
selors, those men whom none but a great man 
would have ventured to select, — his principal rivals 
in the contest for the Presidential nomination, the 
leaders of the party, and the ablest statesmen of 
the country. Nor did his greatness suffer in com- 
parison by the contact. He towered above them all 
as their leader. His discernment of character and 
his masterly management of men so different from 
himself and from each other as Seward and Stan- 
ton and Chase, the power to hold them together and 
to utilize their splendid and indispensible abilities 
for the good of the Nation, proved the genius of a 
leader seldom, if ever before, found in history. In 
less than a year every one of these great leaders 
recognized that he was in the presence of his chief 
and superior. Seward was one of the first to recog- 
nize this. Early in the administration he wrote to 
his wife : — "Executive skill and vigor are rare qual- 
ities. The President is the best of us." 

In '61 and '62 Lincoln's character and motives 
were utterly misunderstood even by many in the 
North ; and his efforts were often misconstrued. 
For the first two years of his administration he was 
often caricatured in the most ludicrous manner. 
He was represented as a "Buffoon," "A blundering 
ignoramus," "A selfish intriguer," "A heartless 
clown," and such like. The present generation can 
little understand the intensity of the antagonism 
towards Lincoln, for a time, even in the North and 
in his own party and among his nominal friendsJ6 

78 Among these were Wendell Phillips, who at one time 
called him the "slave-hound of Illinois" ; Horace Greely, 


Such, however, seems the characteristic weakness 
of human judgment, when applied to men in public 
life, and dealing with great and critical questions 
in which men differ, and in which keen discernment 
and judicious foresight are essential. Lincoln's real 
self and work were veiled, at times, under a seem- 
ingly rough and homely exterior. But when the 
veil was lifted it disclosed a great heart, a noble 
soul, a wise, farsighted and safe leader. 

The Guiding Spirit of the War. 

Lincoln in the Civil War is essentially the his- 
tory of the War in miniature. He had his commit- 
tee on conduct of the War, his Generals in the field, 
and his Secretary of War, but he was Commander- 
in-Chief, and upon him rested the ultimate responsi- 
bility of military success or failure. Nor did he 
attempt to shirk the responsibility. From first to 
last he put in force his keen discernment, clear fore- 
sight, instinctive military skill and intense applica- 
tion in military as in other matters; and as the War 
progressed, encouraged and sustained by his great 
War Secretary, he refused to loose his hold even 
in the face of the bitterest criticism. Many leading 
soldiers during the War gave him the credit of hav- 
ing the essential qualities of a great General.?? 

Dr. Cheever, delegates from the North ; Dr. Channing, 
Conway and others. "During his brief term of power," 
says Joseph H. Choate, "he was probably the object of 
more abuse, vilification and ridicule than any other man 
In the world." 

"Generals Grant, Sherman, Sheridan, Smith and 

Lincoln had his Secretary of War, his Generals in the 
field, and Committee on conduct of the War; but Lin- 
coln himself was the final arbiter. 

His memoranda of July 23d, and 27th of July was the 
first definite and coherent plan for the prosecution of the 


His decisions touching the reinforcement of Fort 
Sumpter, within twenty-four hours! after his in- 
auguration, and a like decision, a little later, as to 
Fort Pickens, his outline of military plans sched- 
uled in '61, various letters to his Generals ; the 
steam navy which so effectually blockaded the 
Southern ports, and the opening of the Mississippi, 
cutting in two the Confederacy, and which had their 

War. It eminated from his own mind and not from that 
of any of his Generals. * * * No professional soldier 
or writer could state more precisely the military situa- 
tion then existing or propose a sounder military plan. 
Lincoln had that faculty of intense application and clear 
insight, so rare that we call it genius ; and he applied it 
as successfully to military affairs as to politics, notwith- 
standing the fact that he was by instinct a man of peace, 
and by training a lawyer, and that military problems 
never engaged his attention until he was fifty-two years 
old. His plans were interrupted and delayed first in one 
way and then in another. 

Ideas evolved and written out in his own hand, July 
23, 1861: (1) Let the plan for making the blockade 
be pushed forward with all possible dispatch. (2) Let 
the volunteer forces at Fort Monroe and vicinity, under 
Gen. Butler, be constantly drilled, disciplined and in- 
structed without more force for the present. (3) Let Balti- 
more be held as now with a gentle but firm and certain 
hand. (4) Let the force now under Patterson, or Banks, 
be strengthened and made secure in its position. (5) Let 
the forces in West Virginia act till further orders ac- 
cording to instructions or orders from Gen. McClellan. 
(6) Let Gen. Freemont push forward his organization 
and operations in the West as rapidly as possible, giving 
special attention to Missouri. (7) Let the forces late 
before Manassas, except the three months men, be re- 
organized as rapidly as possible in their camps here and 
about Arlington. (8) Let the three months forces who 
declined to enter the longer service be discharged as 
rapidly as circumstances will permit. (9) Let the new 
volunteer forces be brought forward as fast as possible ; 
and especially into the camps on the two sides of the 
river here. (When the foregoing shall have been sub- 
stantially attended to. July 27) : (1) Let Manassas 
Junction (or some point one way or other of the rail- 
roads near it) and Strasburg be seized, and permanently 
held, with an open line from Washington to Manassas 
and an open line from Harper's Ferry to Strasburg. the 
Military men to find the way of doing this. (2) This 
done, a joint movement from Cairo to Memphis, and from 
Cincinnati to East Tennessee. (Scribner's, July, 1909.) 


origin in the mind of Lincoln, are in evidence of 
his able military leadership. Though not a soldier 
by profession, by education or by experience, he 
showed himself possessed of the instincts of a 
soldier, and had not a little of the soldier's strat- 
egy. The military problems of the War, after a 
few months, were more directly under the super- 
vision of one of the ablest and most energetic men 
of modern times, the great War Secretary, Edwin 
M. Stanton. But the well-beaten path from the 
White House to the War Department, and the 
nightly presence of the President there at times of 
military movements was in evidence that the war 
measures were under his surveillance. With the 
facts and movements of the War period brought 
out and delineated through the careful study, in- 
vestigation and criticism of nearly half a century, 
the conclusion has been reached by those well qual- 
ified to judge that Lincoln was a master of strat- 
egy and a military leader of no mean capacity.78 

Time and events soon developed the fact that the 
war was to be a war of conquest on the part of the 

"General Francis V. Greene is reputed to be one of the 
foremost military critics in America. In 1901 he wrote : 
"Lincoln stands out among the very few preeminently 
great men in all time bringing to the study of purely 
military questions his extraordinary common sense, and 
often arriving at conclusions more correct than those of 
some of his best Generals." — Scrihner's, 1901. 

In 1909 he said : "Great statesman, astute politician, 
clear thinker, classic writer, master of men, kindly, lov- 
able man. These are his titles. To them must be added 
— military leader. Had he failed in that quality the 
others would have been forgotten. Had peace been made 
on any terms but those of surrender of the insurgent 
forces and restoration of the Union, his career would 
have been a colossal failure and the Emancipation Proc- 
lamation a subject of ridicule. The prime essential was 
military success. Lincoln gained it." — See Scribner'a, 


North, and Lincoln was not slow to recognize the 
fact. "The skill which divined the proper strategy 
of the war," says a recent writer, "was as marked 
as the patience with which he tried General after 
General, till he found at last the man who could do 
the work" There were at first too many political 
Generals on the roll of officers, and as a writer and 
an officer has said, some "Trimmed their ships so 
as to ride into the Presidential haven upon the high 
wave of military fame and popularity." He en- 
joined Hooker to be cautious, and upon others he 
urged his ideas of movement and activity, as Pope 
and Meade, and especially McClellan, and with re- 
sults now known to history. 

One leader after another, when found unequal 
for the place, was displaced, and others named for 
the Eastern army, until, at last Grant was called ; 
and only as he took command would Lincoln relax 
his hold. To him he gave the supreme command, 
and the verdict of history shows his wisdom. 


The sought for excuses on the part of England 
and France, and other nations, to assist and rec- 
ognize the Southern Confederacy, so-called, were 
matters of no small moment, added to the Presi- 
dent's already excessive burdens. But here as else- 
where Lincoln rose to the needs of the occasion, and 
displayed diplomatic qualities of the highest rank. 
His quiet veto of Seward's plan to cure secession 
by waging war with France or Spain, and then 
with England, in the Trent affair, is in evidence. 
This, supplemented by the later and marked states- 
manship of Seward, the diplomacy of Charles Fran- 


ces Adams, then United States Minister to England, 
the efforts of Henry Ward Beecher, and the splen- 
did services of Arch-Bishop Hughes in France and 
Italy, helped to avert the move and repel the inter- 
ference. While Russia, always our friend, stood 
ready to lend a helping hand, if needed.™ 

The Chieftain's Slogan. 

Lincoln's slogan was the "Salvation of the 
Union" Union with the constitutional guarantees 
accorded to the Slave system anywhere within the 
Slave states, if possible ; but no extension of the 
system beyond such limits. He came to the Pres- 
idency entrusted with these principles, and no 
power, and no body of men were able to sway him 

79 "The world is indebted to this Society (a powerful 
political society for reintroducing the Duma, abolished by 
Peter the Great, and to liberate all slaves, especially 
Christians, under the terrible Turkish sword), that the 
Emperor, Alexander II., called the Liberator, by one 
stroke of his pen abolished the slavery of twenty-two 
millions of peasants in Russia and thoroughly reformed 
all branches of administration. 

To the same Society the United States are perhaps 
indebted for their very existence, because when the Civil 
War broke out, Lincoln's work was menaced by the at- 
tack of England in conjunction with France. These two 
strong countries, presuming that the failure of the North- 
ern States meant to the United States ruin, seized the 
opportunity to attempt by force the return of the North- 
ern States to their former status of a British Colony and 
to give back to France Louisiana and possibly some other 
of the Southern States. Even all Texas was offered to 
France in 1864 for recognition of the Confederacy. * * * 
But Lincoln, as Liberator, had already the admiration of 
the Society, and the Society had the ear of the generous 
Emperor Alexander II., who immediately ordered his 
Atlantic fleet to sail into New York harbor and his Pacific 
squadron to enter San Francisco, informing England and 
France that their interference against Lincoln would 
mean a declaration of war against Russia. England and 
France heeded the timely warning." — Count Spiridovitch. 
(Lincoln Fellowship, 1908.) 

(The above is amply confirmed by Hon. Samuel R. 
Thayer, late U. S. Minister to the Netherlands.) 


in the least from this purpose. As Mr. Watterson 
has said: — "He became the incarnation of the 
brains and the soul of the Union." He entertained 
no question as to the Constitutional right of the 
Government to coerce a State attempting to with- 
draw from the Union.80 When Fort Sumpter was 
fired upon, and the evidence of determined war was 
complete, Jackson like, though without his impetu- 
osity, he acted. He called for troops and continued 
to call, as the needs of the war required, until near- 
ly three million (3,000,000) were numbered with 
the Union army. The fall of Sumpter was the 
trumpet sound for the resurrection of the spirit 
of '76, and with deathless patriotism the Captain 
nailed the Union pennant to the Ship of State — All 
else was secondary. 

The Emancipation Proclamation. 

It was the high privilege of Abraham Lincoln to 
produce and sign the Emancipation Proclamation. 
"It was special in language," says Frederick Doug- 
las, "but general in principle." In the providence 
of God it was calculated to be the death knell of 
African slavery in our Nation. But it was issued 
as a War measure and distinctly stated as such. It 
proved a most welcome fulfillment too of a cher- 
ished premonition of his early manhood. The two 
great political aims of his life had been gained, the 
perpetuity of the Union and the downfall of 

80 1 can no more be persuaded that the Government can 
Constitutionally take no strong measure in time of re- 
bellion because it can be shown that the same could not 
be taken in time of peace, than I can be persuaded that 
a particular drug is not good for a sick man because It 
can be shown to be not good food for* a well. — Reply to 
New York Democrats. 


All sorts of people had been giving him the bene- 
fit of their advice in the matter of liberating the 
slaves.81 He was in the midst of a war of conflict- 
ing opinions ; and when emancipation was pro- 
claimed, it was too late to suit some, too early to 
suit others, and too limited to suit still others. Here 
Lincoln was like the pilot carefully picking the way 
for the Ship of State between the Scylla and Charyb- 
dis of the Nation. After all, viewed from the light 
of surrounding conditions, and internal data, as we 
now see them, it was about as opportune a time as 
the country could have tolerated. Old statesmen, 
and other nations were looking on and questioning : 
"Will the Old Backwoodsman really get the Ship 
through?" But the hand of the leader was upon 
the pulse of the Nation ; his head was above the 
raging storm and the whirling clouds, while his 
heart was in touch with the heart of God.82 Lin- 
coln hated the institution of slavery. He had said 
in his young manhood, witnessing men and women, 

81 They seemed to think that the moment I was Presi- 
dent I had the powoer to abolish slavery, forgetting that, 
before I could have any power whatever, I had to take 
the oath to support the Constitution of the United States 
and execute the laws as I found them. When the Re- 
bellion broke out my duty did not admit of a question. — 
See Six Months in the White House (On occasion of lec- 
ture in House of Representatives by Mr. Geo. Thomas, 
and his visit with Pierpont Morgan and others to White 

82 The Tycoon is in fine whack. I have rarely seem 
him more serene and busy. He is managing this war, the 
draft, foreign relations, and planning a reconstruction 
of the Union, all at once. I never knew with what ty- 
rannous authority he rules the Cabinet till now. The more 
important things he decides and there is no cavil. I am 
growing more and more firmly convinced that the good 
of the country absolutely demands that ne should be 
kept where he is till this thing is over. There is no man 
in the country so wise, so gentle and so firm. — John Hay 
to J. O. Nicolay. 


boys and girls in the auction shambles of New 
Orleans, and especially a beautiful octoroon on the 
auction block, handled, treated, examined as a 
beast : — "If I ever get a chance to strike that insti- 
tution I'll hit it hard." The time and the man here 
came together. But he was at the head of the Na- 
tion to save the Union. "It was a fight for nation- 
ality, and the Government was in self defence." This 
act was a war measure, yet with its far-reaching 
and inevitable results. Repellant on the one hand, 
and sought for on the other, the thrilling word 
"Emancipation" was at last spoken. It was the 
bugle blast in the storm — "All hands on deck to 
save the ship" ! It went forth echoing its telling 
message through the Nation and over the sea, and 
greeted on its way the 20,000,000 Serfs whom the 
Czar of Russia had spoken free. That Proclama- 
tion has the seal of Heaven upon it, and Lincoln 
will always be lauded as its honored agent. It has 
called forth and will continue to call forth the grat- 
itude of a race of Freedmen, and his name will be 
crowned with eternal blessings. His reception at 
Richmond the day after the evacuation was a 
token of the feeling.83 

The writer can never forget a scene he chanced 
to witness at the city of Petersburg the morning 
after the assassination. Several hundred colored 
people — contrabands — whom the Government was 
supplying with food had gathered in their morning 
ranks. It was my duty as Quartermaster to issue 
the rations. A tall negro, six feet and a half in 
height, I should say, headed the ranks. Just then 

83 See Admiral Porter's account ; also Col. Crook's and 


a telegram was received and announced: — "Lincoln 
is dead; he has been assassinated" ! ! All was at a 
standstill. The very heavens seemed to be dar- 
kened, a cloud of sorrow seemed to press down 
upon the city. That tall negro in front trembled 
like a leaf and cried like a child. And as I looked 
over that dark cloud of humanity, weeping for their 
benefactor, and in sobbing tones crying out : — "Oh 
Massa Lincum, Massa Lincum, Massa Lincum dead ! 
Massa Lincum dead ! ! Massa Lincum dead ! ! ! 
What shall we do"? and such like expressions, my 
own eyes filled with tears and my heart quivered 
with sadness. 

The Drama Closing. 

A drama, unparalleled in history, was coming to 
its close. A drama, not a play, but most intensely 
real, whose every act was crimsoned with the blood 
of heroes. Scene follows scene upon the Nation's 
tragic stage, until the assassin's bullet fells the 
foremost actor, and drops the curtain in the gloom 
of tragic midnight. 

When our martyr leader died slavery had been 
abolished in the District of Columbia, and prohib- 
ited in the Territories. The Emancipation Procla- 
mation had been honored in the Nation; and Con- 
gress had already passed the act for a Constitu- 
tional amendment abolishing slavery throughout 
the Union. While several of the States had already 
sanctioned the amendment ; Illinois being the first 
and Maryland the second. 

Lincoln lived until the old flag of Sumpter, after 
four dreadful years, was again unfurled — on the 
anniversary of its lowering — to wave with added 


glory the triple message — "Liberty and Union- 
Now and forever — One and inseparable." He lived 
to see the War practically ended ; the Union saved ; 
slavery abolished ; the Declaration and the Consti- 
tution honored ; Free government no longer an ex- 
periment, and its foundation fully established. He 
saw the success and the magnanimity of his chosen 
General, and died with the Nation bowed in sorrow, 
and the nations of the world bringing glad tributes 
to his memory, as one of the noblest characters, 
and one of the ablest statesmen, and one of the 
greatest men in all history. 

The Chosen Man. True, and Equal to His 

Abraham Lincoln was not an accident, nor was 
he a prodigy. He was a man. A man equipped by 
nature for an important mission. A man chosen of 
God and selected by the people. He took good care 
of his mental and moral equipments, put them to 
their proper use, preserved them unsullied, and was 
not disobedient to his calling. 

His brilliant humor and kindly wit and marvel- 
ous tact in story telling, especially in his later 
years, served him well, as "frkftion-saving oil," while 
crushing burdens bore down upon him during those 
fearful years of Civil War. Somehow, I seek not 
here to diagnose the case, but somehow, nature, or 
environments, or experience — too sacred, perchance, 
to uncover or disclose — cast a lasting shade of 
gloom upon his soul and left its impress upon the 
mirthful, melancholy, changeful visage of that 
"strange and lonely man." But through it all, and 
overmastering all, we find a keen, clear, strong, vig- 


orous intellect. His broad humanity, his marked 
simplicity, his utter unassumption, dispassionate 
self-possession, the various traits of his moral 
greatness — we do not undervalue, and from them 
we would not detract one jot or tittle; but some- 
times these qualities of the heart have been mag- 
nified at the expense of his mental powers. 

Lincoln was a many sided man. He was a man 
of brains as well as heart. As a recent writer has 
put it, "He was many men in one, and each is 
worthy of a volume." His homely wit and thor- 
ough grasp of human nature ; his incisive humor, 
and marked common sense ; his intuition ; his silent 
endurance of cruel calumny, and groundless cen- 
sure ; his tender sympathy and kindly tolerance ; 
his great forbearance and guileless mercy ; his re- 
markable faith and faultless patience — stood out 
like the work of a master artist upon the clear and 
symmetrical background of a most remarkable in- 

The time has now come when the keenest and 
most severe of critics, looking back over the re- 
ceding years, and sitting in calm reflection and 
humble judgment upon his life and work, must 
needs assert the superiority and greatness of his 
intellect, and admire the marvelous breadth and 
scope of his mental grasp. His intellect, however, 
may not be regarded as superior to, or to transcend 
the strength and beauty of his character — his moral 
and spiritual qualities, which stand out prominent- 
ly in his life and work. His keen sense of justice, 
his lofty disinterestedness, his frankness, caution, 
candor and sincerity, his rigid honesty, modesty, 


fidelity, and moral courage, his rugged dignity, pa- 
tience and magnanimity, his love for and faith in 
God, and the common people — these were rooted in 
his soul, grew up in the byways of his private life, 
budded in public office as servant of the people, and 
blossomed in sacred memory and lasting fame as 
he closed his eventful life. 

He proved himself possessed of master powers 
of mind; could grasp the situation, discern the 
needs and dictate the ways and means of action, 
when the Nation's grave had been dug and the 
funeral ceremonies had been announced ; when 
statesmen of the highest rank hesitated, and pa- 
triots trembled ; when diplomats looked on and 
prophesied defeat ; an intellect that could pene- 
trate the intricacies of the impending crisis, up 
towards which the ages had been moving — the 
complex problem how to save the Nation, and in the 
wreck of war, when peaceful means had proved un- 
availing, the corollary Jwiv to save a race from 
bondage. Here as leader, and in living sympathy 
with this great movement, so momentous in its 
source and outcome, and in which a thousand bat- 
tlefields attest the peerless valor of American 
hearts, and the deathless glory of American arms ; 
here with statesmen of world-wide renown, war- 
riors of historic fame, and patriots undaunted in 
defeat, and those who died for victory ; here fore- 
most in this glorious galaxy of the great and the 
brave, with the searchlight of the world's best 
critics thrown back upon those dreadful years, when 
brother fought against brother for what each 
thought was right ; here we look upon the man 


whose hatred for slavery, and whose devotion to the 
Union never wavered, but who could direct the 
matchless fight of history without hatred or re- 
sentment towards whom the death dealing thun- 
derbolts of war were hurled with remorseless fury ; 
whose courage was out of touch with passion ; 
whose great heart found no place for prejudice or 
malice, which it has taken years to banish from 
the hearts of the rank and file of the conquering 
and the conquered, but whose endearing qualities, 
like golden twilight shining forward, now touch 
with kindred pride the hearts of those who wore 
the blue and those who wore the gray ; the man in 
whom was manifest the rare combination which 
demonstrates — "the greatness of real goodness, and 
the goodness of real greatness." A man in whom 
was joined together a great heart, full of simplic- 
ity, gentleness, patience, forbearance, mercy, sym- 
pathy, with an intellect profound and solid ;84 a 
will like flint, and courage invincible as that of 
the "Black Prince," whose strong arm and cold 
determination added to England's history one of 
her most splendid chapters. 

We may not here attempt to unfold these traits, 
or to picture them in their force and beauty as he 
possessed them. Each is worthy of a chapter. On 
every hand they find expression in his life and 
work. His life was not the play of head or heart 

81 It has been claimed by some that Lincoln's intellect 
was slow in its working. But any apparent slowness, I 
am persuaded, may be accounted for in his effort to 
reach absolute, or practical truth through reasoning. Mr. 
Sweet, private Secretary of Robert T. Lincoln, once said 
to the author : — "He was not slow in his thinking, but 
quick in his thinking ; he was careful, however, in reach- 
ing correct conclusions." 


alone, or of some stray virtue grown to abnormal 
strength ; but a character full and rounded out. The 
wisdom of a sage seemed coupled to the simplicity 
of a child. Those years of war when Lincoln stands 
transcendant — when days were as the years and 
years were as the ages — were hero-making years, 
and epoch-making years. Fame winged her flight 
from vale and darkness to the mountain peaks of 
history. Merit climbed the rugged steeps and left 
her lasting placard on the heights above. Genius 
burst her barriers and gave her golden treasures 
to the world. In 1865 Lincoln was something 
more than he was in 1826, in 1834, in 1842, in 1848, 
in 1854, in 1856, in 1858, or in 1861. He grew like 
others in those character-making years of war. But 
as a man his measure has not yet been fully taken, 
and cannot be until that great heart with its en- 
dearing qualities, and that no less marvelous intel- 
lect, shall be comprehended in their union, as they 
really were, the one in two and the two in one, each 
stimulating and illuminating the other, and both 
guiding the man in his appointed work to form an 
inseparable brotherhood of the American people, 
who, under the added beauty of the Old Flag, on 
land and sea, are now at the open door, in the far 
off Orient, to guard and dictate peace to the na- 
tions of the world. 

Noted Ones of Eighteen Hundred Nine. 

Noted men and women share with Lincoln the 
birth-year of eighteen hundred and nine. Poets and 
Musicians, Scientists and Statesmen. Alfred Ten- 
nyson, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Edgar Allen 
Poe and Oliver Wendell Holmes, have gladdened 


with poetry the ears and hearts of the century gone. 
Albert Pike, the traveler-poet-journalist-lawyer ; 
soldier in the Mexican war, a commander in the 
Confederate army ; a Mason world renowned, and 
for nearly fifty years leader of the craft in the 
Southern jurisdiction of the Scottish Rite. Men- 
delssohn, the great composer of Oratorios, and 
Frederick Chopin, the master pianist ; Charles Dar- 
win, the man of brains, the master analyst who 
has taught us seriously to think on evolution. Our 
own Robert C. Winthrop, the silver tongued orator, 
the Christian statesman, from the Old Bay state, 
and Hannibal Hamlin, the man of granite princi- 
ples, the sheet anchor of our Senate when the 
storm of war was raging; and then Gladstone, 
the scholar, the writer, the peerless statesman, the 
"Grand Old Man of England." And yet the world, 
today, turns to Lincoln, first of all, among the 
noted ones of 1809. 

Greatness Unveiled. 

Here we look upon human greatness, unveiled, 
and destined to stand the tests of time, because a 
human soul, endowed with powers immortal, suited 
for and called to a special work in the great world- 
movement, cared for, cultivated, and exercised those 
powers — took in the principles of his mission, di- 
gested them and made them a part of himself ; 
then, ambitious for the goal, dared to be honest ; 
dared to be unpopular when he knew he was right ; 
dared to be unselfish ; dared to do the right ; dared 
to be true ; dared to do his duty ; dared to trust in 



The Nation's Product. 

Abraham Lincoln was the product of our free in- 
stitutions. Born and reared in poverty, undaunted 
by defeat and unsullied by prosperity, he rose 
against fearful odds to the topmost point of human 
power. He was endowed with the qualities of 
greatness. He had the noblest qualities of a man, 
the highest requisites of a leader, the keenest in- 
stincts of a statesman, the heart and the soul of a 
patriot. With cool head, and clear thinking, and 
farsightedness, he moved steadily forward without 
halt or hurry. Measured by what he accomplished, 
he stands in the foremost rank among the greatest 
characters of history. 

In the dark hours of our greatest danger, un- 
tried and little known, he took the Ship of State, 
guided her through the storm of Civil War, and 
brought her at last, through the crimson tempest, 
into the harbor of peace and universal freedom. He 
sought not fame, but victory for the right. Pos- 
sessed of the martyr spirit, firm, unselfish, just and 
tenderhearted, confident, wise, cautious, fearless, 
but prayerful and kindly patient, he moved with 
care and caution lest some interest of the Nation 
should suffer, or some flower of humanity should 
be crushed. 

His work was great but it was simply done. We 
did not understand him then; but when he left us 
to receive a martyr's crown, we began to realize 
that we had entertained a God-inspired man — an 
angel unawares. His rugged, quaint and gentle 
characteristics blend in harmony, when reflected in 
his spotless life, and the war-erimsoned years in 


which he rose as the standard bearer, the savior 
of an imperiled Nation and the Emancipator of a 
down trodden race. 

The Bivouac and the Crown of Honor. 

Enter with me, if you will, the Bivouac of our 
dead. But speak gently, tread lightly, for four 
himdred thousand of our martyr dead are sleeping 
here, and other thousands, just as brave, and just 
as noble, are sleeping by their side. First and fore- 
most of this martyr band is the Lincoln of our 
war-scarred years ; dear to us because he died for 
the Nation which he saved, and for the freedom of 
a race; and doubly dear to the Nation and to the 
world because of his tragic end, and the method of 
his death. 

No ruthless hand or impious tongue may dare to 
desecrate that place or name, for North and South 
— the Soldier South — vie with each other in their 
guard, and the nations extend their watch of sym- 
pathy and admiration. 

Standing by his side on that sad and fatal morn- 
ing, when the great leader had breathed his last, 
Edward M. Stanton turned to those beside him, 
saying: "Noio he belongs to the ages." Truer and 
more prophetic words were never spoken. Lincoln 
belongs to us ; he belongs to our generation ; he be- 
longs to our Country. We cannot give him up. But 
the whole world today claims him for the race ; and 
has placed him in his niche of fame alongside our 
Washington, and among the greatest characters of 
all history. And the years as they roll by, and the 
centuries as they come and go, will add resplendant 


glory to the fame of him who was Master of him- 
self ; Master of the God-inspired truth ; "All men 
created free and equal" ; Master of those arrayed 
against him ; Master of foreign diplomats who fig- 
ured in the War ; Master of the great men and the 
noble army who helped him to do his work ; Mas- 
ter of the Heaven-born mission committed to his 



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My friends : No one, not in my position, can realize 
the sadness I feel at this parting. To this people I 
owe all that I am. Here I have lived more than a 
quarter of a century. Here my children were born, and 
here one of them lies buried. I know not how soon I 
shall see you again. I go to assume a task more dim- 
cult than that which has developed upon any other man 
since the days of Washington. He never would have 
succeeded except for the aid of Divine Providence, upon 
which he at all times relied. I feel that I cannot suc- 
ceed without the same Divine blessing which sustained 
him ; and on the same Almighty Being I place my reli- 
ance for support. And I hope you, my friends, will all 
pray that I may receive that Divine assistance, without 
which I cannot succeed, but with which success is cer- 
tain. Again, I bid you an affectionate farewell. 

FIRST INAUGURAL.— March 4, 1861. 

In compliance with a custom as old as the government 
itself, I appear before you to address you briefly, and 
to take in your presence the oath prescribed by the Con- 
stitution of the United States, to be taken by the Pres- 
ident "before he enters upon the execution of his office." 

• • * 

Apprehension seems to exist, among the people of 
the Southern states, that by the accession of a Repub- 
lican administration their property and their peace and 
personal security are to be endangered. There has never 
been any real cause for such apprehension. Indeed the 
most ample evidence to the contrary has all the while 
existed and been open to their inspection. * * * 

I hold that in contemplation of universal law, and of 
the Constitution, the union of the states is perpetual. 
Perpetuity is implied, if not expressed, in the funda- 
mental law of all national governments. * * * 

I therefore consider that, in view of the Constitution 
and the laws, the Union is unbroken, and to the extent 
of my ability I shall take care, as the Constitution itself 
expressly enjoins upon me. that the laws of the Union 
be faithfully executed in all the states. * * * 

In doing this there need be no bloodshed nor violence, 
and there shall be none, unless it be forced upon the 
national authority. The power confided to me will be 
used to hold, and occupy, and possess the property and 


places belonging to the government, and to collect the 
duties and imports ; but beyond what may be necessary 
for these objects there will be no invasion, no using of 
force against or among the people anywhere. * * * 

This country, with its institutions, belongs to the 
people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary 
of the existing government, they can exercise the con- 
stitutional right of amending, or their revolutionary 
right to dismember or overthrow it. I cannot be ignorant 
of the fact that many worthy and patriotic citizens are 
desirous of having the national Constitution amended. 

* * * 

My countrymen, one and all, think calmly and well 
upon this whole subject. Nothing valuable can be lost 
by taking time. If there be an object to hurry any of 
you in hot haste to a step which you would never take 
deliberately, that object will be frustrated by taking 
time ; but no good object can be frustrated by it. Such 
of you as are now dissatisfied, still have the old Con- 
stitution unimpaired, and on the sensitive point, the 
laws of your own framing under it. The new adminis- 
tration will have no immediate power, if it would, to 
change either. If it were admitted that you who are 
dissatisfied hold the right side in the dispute, there is 
no single good reason for precipitate action. Intelli- 
gence, patriotism, Christianity, and a firm reliance upon 
Him, who has never yet forsaken this favored land, are 
still competent to adjust, in the best way, all our pres- 
ent difficulties. * * * 

In your hands, my dissatisfied fellow-countrymen, and 
not in mine, are the momentous issues of civil war. 
The government will not assail you. 

You can have no conflict without being yourselves the 
aggressors. You have no oath registered in heaven to 
destroy the government, while I have the most solemn 
one to "preserve, protect, and defend it." 

I am loth to close. We are not enemies, but friends. 
We must not be enemies ; though passion may have 
strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. 

The mystic chord of memory, stretching from every 
battlefield and patriot errave to every living heart and 
hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the 
chorus of the Union, when asain touched, as surely 
they will be, by the better angels of our nature. 

Abraham Lincoln. 


Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought 
forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty 
and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created 
equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, test- 
ing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and 
so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great 
battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a 


portion of that field as a final resting place for those 
who here gave their lives that that nation might live. 
It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do 
this. But in a larger sense we cannot dedicate, we 
cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground. The 
brave men, living and dead, who struggled here have 
consecrated it far above our power to add or detract. 
The world will little note nor long remember what we 
say here, but it can never forget what they did here. 
It is for us, the living, rather to be dedicated here to 
the unfinished work which they who fought here have 
thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be 
here dedicated to the great task remaining before us, 
that from these honored dead we take increased devo- 
tion to that cause for which they gave the last full 
measure of devotion ; that we here highly resolve that 
these dead shall not have died in vain ; that this nation, 
under God, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that 
government of the people, by the people and for the 
people shall not perish from the earth. 


Fellow Countrymen : At this second appearing to take 
the oath of the Presidential office there is less occasion 
for an extended address than there was at the first. 
Then a statement, somewhat in detail, of a course to be 
pursued seemed fitting and proper. Now, at the expira- 
tion of four years, during which public declarations have 
been constantly called forth on every point and phase 
of the great contest which still absorbs the attention 
and engrosses the energies of the nation, little that is 
new can be presented. The progress of our arms, upon 
which all else chiefly depends, is as well known to the 
public as to myself ; and it is, I trust, reasonably satis- 
factory and encouraging to all. With high hope for the 
future, no prediction in regard to it is ventured. 

On the occasion corresponding to this four years ago, 
all thoughts were anxiously directed to an impending 
civil war. All dreaded it — all sought to avert it. While 
the inaugural address was being delivered from this 
place, devoted altogether to saving the Union without 
war, insurgent agents were in the city seeking to destroy 
it without war — seeking to dissolve the Union, and divide 
effects, by negotiation. Both parties deprecated war ; 
but one of them would make war rather than let the 
nation survive, and the other would accept war rather 
than let it perish. And the war came. 

One-eighth of the whole population were colored 
slaves, not distributed generally over the Union, but 
localized in the Southern part of it. These slaves con- 
stituted a peculiar and powerful interest. All knew 
that this interest was, somehow, the cause of the war. 
To strengthen, perpetuate, and extend this interest was 
the object for which the insurgents would rend the 
Union, even by war ; while the government claimed no 


right to do more than to restrict the territorial enlarge- 
ment of it. 

Neither party expected for the war the magnitude or 
the duration which it has already attained. Neither 
anticipated that the cause of the conflict might cease 
with, or even before, the conflict itself should cease. 
Each looked for an easier triumph, and a result less 
fundamental and astounding. Both read the same Bible 
and pray to the same God ; and each invokes His aid 
against the other. It may seem strange that any men 
should dare to ask a just God's assistance in wringing 
their bread from the sweat of other men's faces ; but 
let us judge not, that we be not judged. The prayers of 
both could not be answered — that of neither has been 
answered fully. 

The Almighty has His own purposes. "Wo unto the 
world because of offenses ! for it must needs be that 
offenses come ; but wo to that man by whom the offense 
cometn." If we shall suppose that American slavery 
is one of those offenses which, in the providence of God, 
must needs come, but which, having continued through 
His appointed time, He now wills to remove, and that 
He gives to both North and South this terrible war, as 
the wo due to those by whom the offense came, shall we 
discern therein any departure from those divine at- 
tributes which the believers in a living God always 
ascribe to Him ? Fondly do we hope — fervently do we 
pray — that this mighty scourge of war may speedily 
pass away. Yet, if God wills that it shall continue until 
all the wealth piled up by the bondsman's two hundred 
and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until 
every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid 
by another drawn with the sword, as was said three 
thousand years ago, so still it must be said, "The judg- 
ments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether." 

With malice toward none ; with charity for all ; with 
firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, 
let us strive on to finish the work we are in ; to bind 
up the nation's wounds ; to care for him who shall have 
borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan — 
to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and 
lasting peace among ourselves, and with all nations. 


In our judgment, one of the great masterpieces of 
Lincoln has had but little notice, comparatively, in 
books or from the press. I refer to the letter written 
June 12th, 1863, to Erastus Corning of New York, in 
answer to resolutions passed in a public meeting at 
Albany, New York, touching the suspension of "habeas 
corpus" in the case of the military arrest of C. L. 
Vallandigham. In a few words Mr. Lincoln answers the 
document sent by Mr. Corning, and then adds : "And 
here I ought to close this paper, and would close it, if 
there were no apprehension that more injurious conse- 


quences than any merely personal to myself might follow 
the censures systematically cast upon me for doing what, 
in my view of duty, I could not forbear." He proceeds 
with one of the most masterly delineations of political 
principles, and dissection of treasonable activities,, ever 
unfolded in its line, perhaps, in our National history. 
No attempt was made by Sir. Corning or any one else 
to answer this letter. We must content ourselves here 
with a mere extract of the letter. "He (Vallandigham) 
was not arrested because he was damaging the political 
prospects of the administration or the personal interests 
of the commanding General (Burnside), but because he 
was damaging the army, upon the existence and vigor 
of which the life of the Nation depends. He was war- 
ring upon the military, and this gave the military con- 
stitutional jurisdiction to lay hands upon him. If 
Vallandigham was not damaging the military power of 
the country, then his arrest was made on mistake of fact, 
which I would be glad to correct on reasonably satis- 
factory evidence. 

"I understand the meeting whose resolutions I am 
considering to be in favor of suppressing the rebellion 
by military force — by armies. Long experience has 
shown that armies cannot be maintained unless deser- 
tion shall be punished by the severe penalty of death. 
The case requires, and the law and the Constitution 
sanction, this punishment. Must I shoot a simple-minded 
soldier boy who deserts, while I must not touch a hair 
of a wily agitator who induces him to desert?'' (Ad- 
dresses d C. 11, 8)9.) 


O why should the spirit of mortal be proud? 
Like a swift-fleeting meteor, a fast flying cloud. 
A flash of the lightning, a break of the wave, 
He passefh from life to his rest in the grave. 

The leaves of the oak and the willow shall fade, 

Be scattered around, and together be laid ; 

And the young and the old, and the low and the high. 

Shall molder to dust, and together shall lie. 

The Infant a mother attended and loved ; 
The mother that infant's affection who proved ; 
The husband that mother and infant who blest — 
Each, all, are away to their dwellings of rest. 

The maid on whose cheek, on whose brow, in whose eye, 
Shone beauty and pleasure — her triumphs are by; 
And the memory of those who loved her and praised, 
Are alike from the minds of the living erased. 

•Lincoln's favorite poem is here given because it re- 
flects, as in a mirror, much of his reserve, thought, and 


The hand of the king that the scepter hath borne; 
The brow of the priest that the miter hath worn ; 
Te eye of the sage, and the heart of the brave, 
Are hidden and lost in the depths of the grave. 

The peasant, whose lot was to sow and to reap ; 
The herdsman, who climbed with his goats up the steep ; 
The beggar, who wandered in search of his bread, 
Have faded away, like the grass that we tread. 

The saint, who enjoyed the communion of heaven ; 
The sinner, who dared to remain unforgiven ; 
The wise and the foolish, the guilty and just, 
Have quietly mingled their bones in the dust. 

So the multitude goes — like the flower of the weed, 
That withers away to let others succeed ; 
So the multitude comes — even those we behold, 
To repeat every tale that has often been told. 

For we are the same our fathers have been ; 
We see the same sights our fathers have seen ; 
We drink the same stream, we view the same sun, 
And run the same course our fathers have run. 

The thoughts we are thinking, our fathers would think ; 
From the death we are shrinking our fathers would 

shrink ; 
To the life we are clinging, they also would cling ; 
But it speeds from us all like a bird on the wing. 

They loved — but the story we can not unfold ; 

They scorned — but the heart of the haughty is cold ; 

They grieved — but no wail from their slumber will come ; 

They joyed — but the tongue of their gladness is dumb. 

They died — ay, they died — we things that are now, 
That walk on the turf that lies over their brow, 
And make in their dwellings a transient abode, 
Meet the things that they met on their pilgrimage road. 

Yea ! hope and despondency, pleasure and pain, 
Are mingled together in sunshine and rain ; 
And the smile and the tear, the song and the dirge. 
Still follow each other, like surge upon surge. 

'Tis the wink of an eye, 'tis the draught of a breath, 
From the blossom of health to the paleness of death, 
From the gilded saloon to the bier and the shroud — 
O why should the spirit of mortal be proud? 

— William Knox. 



Authors and Statesmen. 

As a child, in a dark night, on a rugged way, catches 
hold of the hand of its father for guidance and support, 
Lincoln clung fast to the hand of the people and moved 
calmly through the gloom. * * * He finished a work 
which all time cannot overthrow. — George Bancroft. 

That swarthy face, with its strong features, its deep 
furrows, and its benignant melancholy eyes, is familiar 
to every American. * * * Everybody in the civilized 
world knows and loves him. * * * The sureness of 
his outlook and the courageous firmness of his attitude 
proves that he was not a mere follower of other men's 
minds, but leader in the truest sense of the term. — Carl 

Lincoln's monument is not at Springfield by the Sanga- 
mon, but everywhere in the hearts of the American 
people ; in the hearts of the millions of Freed men, 
among whom will always be cherished the name of Lin- 
coln, the emancipator of the colored race in the United 
States. — Wm. H. Upham — ex-Gov., Wis. 

Mr. Lincoln became the leader of a great and power- 
ful party. * * * He was called by the American 
people to lead them out from the domination of an arro- 
gant section. He was true to his mission, and died the 
death of a martyr. — General John M. Palmer. 

Lincoln is certainly the most sagacious and far-seeing 
statesman in the annals of American history. * * * 
He was the greatest man of his time. History abundantly 
proves his superiority as a leader, and establishes his 
constant reliance upon a higher power for guidance and 
support. The tendency of this age is to exaggeration, 
but of him none have spoken more highly than those 
who knew him best. * * * Lincoln is not far re- 
moved from us ; — not surrounded by the mists of an- 
tiquity ; — not by a halo of idolatry that is impenetrable. 
* * * His name has leaped the bounds of party and 
country and now belongs to mankind and to the ages, — 
prophet and master without a rival in the greatest crisis 
of our history. * * * The martyr of liberty, the 
emancipator of a race. His deeds will live in human 
history forever. — Pres. William McKinley. 

Lincoln saw into the future with the prophetic imag- 
ination usually vouchsafed only to the poet and the 
seer. * * * He had the practical man's hard com- 
mon sense. No more practical man ever lived than this 
homely backwoods idealist. This nation will grow to 
feel a peculiar sense of pride in the man whose blood 
was shed for the Union and for the freedom of a race ; 
the lover of his country and of all mankind ; the might- 
iest of the mighty men who mastered the mighty days. — 
Theodore Roosevelt. 


* * * Lincoln is one of the great men of this 
country, a very able lawyer, a most skillful and eloquent 
orator, — a great statesman. — Stephen A. Douglas. 

He whom the nation loved and laments was called 
to his high station at a most portentious crisis, at the 
commencement of a war almost without a parallel in 
human history. * * * His noble qualities inspired 
general confidence and commanded general respect, and 
his successful administration will be evidence, in all time 
to come, of his own worth and the wisdom of his 
measures. — Lewis Cass. 

If that high eulogium (pronounced by Macaulay on 
Washington, in his essay on Hampden) was fully earned, 
we doubt if it has not been as well earned by the Illinois 
peasant-proprietor and "village lawyer," whom, by some 
Divine inspiration of Providence, the Republican caucas 
of 1860 substituted for Mr. Seward as their nominee for 
the President's chair. * * * Finding himself the ob- 
ject of abuse so fierce and so foul * * * ; Mocked at 
for his official awkwardness, and denounced for his stead- 
fast policy * * * ; tried by years of failure before 
that policy achieved a single great success. Further 
tried by a series of successes so rapid and brilliant that 
they would have puffed up a smaller mind and overset 
its balance ; beset by fanatics of principle on the one 
hand * * * and by fanatics of caste on the other 
* * * Mr. Lincoln has persevered through all without 
ever giving away to anger, or despondency, or exultation, 
or popular arrogance, or sectarian fanaticism, or caste 
prejudice, visibly growing in force of character, in self- 
possession and in magnanimity, till in his last message 
to Congress, on the 4th of March, we can detect no 
longer the rude and illiterate mold of a village lawyer's 
thought, but find it replaced by a grasp of principle, a 
dignity of manner, and solemnity of purpose which would 
have been unworthy neither of Hampden nor of Crom- 
well, while his gentleness and generosity of feeling 
towards his foes are almost greater than we should ex- 
pect from either of them. * * * We doubt if any 
politician has even shown less personal ambition and a 
larger power of trust. — Spectator, London. 

He stands apart in striking solitude, an enigma to all 
men. * * * Let us take him simply as Abraham 
Lincoln, singular and solitary as we all see that he was ; 
let us be thankful if we can make a niche big enough 
for him among the world's heroes, without worrying 
ourselves about the proportion which it may bear to 
other niches ; and there let him remain, forever, lonely, 
as in his strange life-time, impressive, mysterious, un- 
measured and unsolved. — John T. Morse. 

Mr. Lincoln was no ordinary man. I believe that the 
hand of God may be traced in many of the events con- 
nected with his history, and that he was specially singled 
out to guide our government in these troublesome times. 


* * * His greatness, in mental characteristics, rested 
on a quick and ready perception of facts ; on a memory 
unusually retentive ; on a logical turn of mind, which 
followed, sternly and unwaveringly, every link in the 
chain of thought on every subject he was called to inves- 
tigate. * * * His moral powers gave him pre-eminence, 
— His moral integrity gave him his hold on the people. 

* * * The great act on which his fame shall rest long 
after his frame shall moulder away, is that of giving 
freedom to a race. * * * — Abraham Lincoln was a 
good man ; known as an honest, temperate, forgiving, 
just man. He believed in Christ, the Savior of sinners, 
and I believe was sincere in trying to bring his life in 
harmony with revealed religion. — As a ruler I doubt if 
any President has ever shown such trust in God. — Bishop 

The American nation, the American truths, of which 
our President was the anointed and supreme embodiment, 
have been embodied in multitudes of heroes, who 
marched unknown and fell unnoticed in our ranks. * * * 
God brought him up as He brought David up from the 
sheepfold to feed Jacob, his inheritance, — The gentlest, 
kindest, most indulgent man that ever ruled a State. He 
lived as he did, and he died as he did, because he was 
what he was. — Phillips Brooks. 

Down the ages this will be the legend of America : 
Lincoln saved the Union. — Archbishop Ireland. 

Abraham Lincoln is the apotheosis of American man- 
hood. — Dr. Chas. Edward Locke. 

He was the gentlest President in American history, 
because in a time of revolution he comprehended the 
spirit of American institutions, grasped the purpose of 
the American people, and embodied them in an act of 
justice and humanity. — Lyman Abbott. 

Mr. Lincoln is the best man I ever knew. — Rev. Dr. 
H. W. Bellows. 

Abraham Lincoln's greatness and work, lay in his 
simp'le manhood. — Robert Collyer. 

Few men in the world's history have been privileged 
to do work involving so much benefit to mankind. — 
Newman Hall. 

There is no side but Abraham Lincoln's side. — Winston 

Measured by what he did, he towered from his girth 
up above every other mere man for six thousand years. 
— Bishop Charles H. Fowler. 

Had there been no Lincoln, the sun would have set for- 
ever upon the work of Washington. — Dr. James M. 

By the side of Armstrong and Garrison, Lincoln lives 
today. In the very highest sense he lives in the present 
more potentially than fifty years ago. — Booker T. Waa?i- 


Every element of Lincoln's public career is enriched 
by the setting of his private life and personal work. 
* * * * He was human in the highest and best sense 
of the word. * * * His devotion to his wife and 
children was as abiding and unbounded as his love of 
country. — Hon. George W. Julian. 

President Lincoln was a large and many sided man, 
and yet so simple that no one, not even a child, could 
approach him without feeling that he had found in him 
a sympathising friend. * * * He was, in my judg- 
ment, the greatest man our country has produced. — 
Judge William D. Kelley. 

Mr. Lincoln came very near being a perfect man ac- 
cording to my ideal of manhood. * * * He is beyond 
question the master mind of the Cabinet. — Judge Edward 
Bates (Atty. Gen. Lincoln Cabinet). 

Homely, honest, ungainly Lincoln is the representa- 
tive man of the country. * * * The typical Amer- 
ican pure and simple. — Prof. Asa Gray. 

Lincoln surpassed all orators in eloquence ; all diplo- 
mats in wisdom ; all statesmen in foresight ; all the 
most ambitious in fame. — Hon. John J. Ingails. 

I doubt whether man, woman or child, white or black, 
bond or free, virtuous or vicious, ever accosted, or 
reached forth a hand to Abraham Lincoln and detected 
in his countenance or manner any repugnance or shrink- 
ing from the proffered contact, any assumption of supe- 
riority or betrayal of disdain. * * * Other men were 
helpful and nobly did tbeir part ; yet looking back 
through the lifting mists of those seven eventful, tragic, 
trying, glorious years, I clearly discern the one Provi- 
dential leader, the indispensable hero of the great drama, 
Abraham Lincoln. — Horace Greely. 

The true representative of this continent ; an entirely 
public man ; father of his country ; the pulse of 20,000,- 
000 throbbing in his heart, the thought of their minds 
articulated by their tongues. — Oliver Wendell Holmes. 

Perhaps none of our Presidents since Washington has 
stood so firm in the confidence of the people as Lincoln, 
after three years' stormy administration. * * * A 
profound common sense is the best genius for statesman- 
ship. Hitherto the wisdom of the President's measures 
has been justified by the fact that they always resulted 
in more firmly uniting public opinion. — James Russell 
Loicell (Atlantic, Dec. 1863). 

Abraham Lincoln was born in obscurity, reared In 
want and poverty and denied educational advantages, 
and yet he stands today as the great colossal figure of 
his age and time. * * * We knew him when we gave 
him to mankind. The world knows him now.j — Dr. E. 
Hursh (Chicago). 

He left upon the age the mighty impress of his vir- 
tues and his deeds. — Judge Arthur H. Chetlain (Chicago). 


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I knew him as a boy may know a President who was 
never too busy to greet him kindly, to muss his hair, to 
pull his ears, and to say gentle, tender words of the 
father who had but lately passed away. — Through all 
these years the wondrous sweetness of that beautiful, 
ugly face has never left my memory. — Stephen A. Doug- 
las, Jr. 

It is the province of a physician to probe deeply the 
interior lives of men ; and I affirm that Mr. Lincoln is 
the purest hearted man with whom I ever came in con- 
tact. — Dr. Robert K. Stone, Lincoln's family physician. 

The mission of all great men, of all heroes, who are 
looked upon almost as demigods, passes away. The 
President of the Republic is suddenly struck down at the 
moment of his triumph. * * * Lincoln, a martyr to 
the principles which he represented, now belongs to his- 
tory and to posterity, — As the champion of freedom in 
America, Lincoln drew, without hesitation, the sword of 
the Republic, and with the point thereof erased from the 
firm code that anti-social stigma, that blasphemy against 
human nature, the sad, shameful, infamous codicil of 
antiquated societies, the dark and repugnant abuse of 
slavery * * * and as the stars of the Union waved 
triumphant over the fallen ramparts of Petersburg and 
Richmond — the grave opens, and the strong and the pow- 
erful fall to rise no more. — Great man — I purposely re- 
peat great man — the man who makes himself great by 
his own acts and by his own genius is more to be envied 
than he who was born among inherited escutcheons of 
nobility. Lincoln belongs to that privileged race — to that 
aristocracy. As a legislator and in Congress, he pre- 
pared to become one day the popular chief of many 
millions, the defender of the holy principles which Wil- 
berforce inaugurated. — Trampling down the thorns in his 
path, guiding his steps amid the tears and the blood of 
so many holocausts, he still lives to see the promised 
land. — The great athlete stepped into the ring and fell 
— a martyr to the noble principles of which this noble 
epoch has reason to be proud. * * * A good citizen 
and a great Magistrate, who, himself, piloted his people 
through terrible tempests, and succeeded in leading them 
in triumph over the fallen ramparts of slavery's strong- 
hold. — L. A. Rebello da Silva {House of Peers, Lisbon). 

In all the exigencies of civil war, this upright patriot 
had but one purpose in view, to respect his oath of fidel- 
ity to the Constitution, to prevent the dismemberment 
of the great Republic, to efface the only stain upon its 
flag — slavery. This is what Abraham Lincoln has real- 
ized ; he has accomplished this gigantic task, without 
harm to the liberty of the people, with probity and en- 
ergy in the choice of means, with moderation and gen- 
erosity towards the vanquished. — People of Geneva, 
Switzerland, to people of U. S. A. 


Abraham Lincoln, the mighty leader of these great 
events, the manly model of civic virtue, of pure and 
noble humanity, will be held holy in the memory of the 
inhabitants of his native land, and be worshipped by the 
world. — Johanne Pfister, Buren-Berne, Suritzerland. 

Abraham Lincoln, one of the greatest men who ever 
lived upon this earth. — John Kilchman, Lucerne. (In 
the Bund.) 

Abraham Lincoln, — the man with the brow of iron 
and the heart of gold. * * * When men in after 
years shall commemorate Good Friday as the death-day 
of their holy Redeemer, they will remember it as the 
day of martyrdom for his truest disciple, the liberator 
of millions of slaves, the noble paragon of virtue and 
humanity — Abraham Lincoln. — The Manerchor, Berne, 

Lincoln had the most notable combination of sadness 
and mirth that I ever met with in any of our public 
men. — I have never known any man who had greater 
reverence for God than Abraham Lincoln. * * * I 
am quite sure that no man could have filled Lincoln's 
place during the Civil war with equal safety to the Re- 
public — His ablest political enemies ever paid the highest 
tributes, not only to his personal attributes, but to his 
masterly ability. — I learned not only to respect, but, 
indeed, to reverence the man. — Col. Alexander K. McClure. 

Lincoln had a spirit touched to fine issues. — John M. 

Next to the destruction of the Confederacy, the death 
of Abraham Lincoln was the darkest day the South has 
ever known. — Jefferson Davis. (Said to A. KL. McClure, 
10 years after Lincoln's death.) 

There is no other name in America today so effective 
and worthy of being used when we would conure the 
noble, the open, and the tender in human nature. — Rev. 
Jenkin Lloyd Jones. 

The greatest man in the world has just died. — Jane 
Addams' father (As recalled by her). 

The phenomenon of history. — Burke Cockeran. 

The President is, without exception, the tenderest 
hearted man I ever saw. — Judge Joseph Holt (Sec. of 
War under Buchanan). 

A man most worthy of memory in the history of our 
country. — 8. 8. McClure. 

Well, we might have done a more brilliant thing but 
we could hardly have done a better thing. — Judge Kelley 
to Carl Schurz on leaving Lincoln's home after notifi- 


He overspread a continent with his pity. — Arthur H. 

He had an abiding faith in his own convictions, but 
a world of charity for the views of others. — John W. 

Mr. Lincoln is the only white man with whom I have 
ever talked, or in whose presence I have even been, who 
did not consciously or unconsciously betray, to me, that 
he recognized my color. * * * The simple approached 
him with ease, and the learned approached him with 
deference. Take him for all in all, Abraham Lincoln 
was one of the noblest, wisest and best men I ever knew. 
Frederick Douglas. 

Abraham Lincoln was essentialy a thinker who had the 
courage of his convictions. * * * Having been placed 
by fortune in the proper sphere of action, he showed he 
was a truly great man. — Abraham Hewitt. 

Mr. Lincoln's life was one of true patriotism, and his 
character one of honesty and of the highest type of 
religious sentiment. — Alexander Ramsey. 

He was a noble, whole-souled, tender-hearted man. He 
was a model President of this model Republic. — P. T. 

It is my humble judgment, that in all the positions 
the great crisis forced him into he was a perfect fit. — 
J. M. Bailey. 

British Press. 

* * * He governed with an ability which even his 
adversaries have not been the last to admit. * * * 
His management of state affairs has illuminated a 
brighter page in the history of his country than any 
which has been emblazoned since the death of Washing- 
ton. — {Gateshead Observer, April 29, 1865.) 

Poor Abraham Lincoln — "honest Abe" — the simple, the 
noble, the true-hearted ; as blunt and unaffected, as 
simple-hearted, kindly and playful in his high position as 
President of the United States as ever he had been, in 
earlier days, when he drove his team through the forests 
of Illinois ! The people of this country had all come to 
love him. — (Glasgow Herald, May 1st, 1865.) 

Mr. Lincoln slowly won for himself the respect and 
confidence of all. His perfect honesty speedily became 
apparent. * * * His utterances were apparently 
careless, but his tongue was always under command. • * 
— {London Times, April 27, 1865.) 

* * * History will record the name of Abraham 
Lincoln as that of a pure and disinterested patriot. 
* * * She will speak also of the virtues which the 
hard experience of early life had strengthened in him ; 
of his large, humane, and tender sympathies ; of his self- 


control and good temper ; of truthfulness and sturdy 
honesty. * * * She will represent him as possessed 
with deep moral earnestness, and as endowed with vig- 
orous common sense and faculty for dealing with af- 
fairs. * * * Rising from the poorest of the people, 
winning his slow way upward by sheer hard work, pre- 
serving in every successive stage a character unspotted 
and a name untainted, never pretending to more than 
he was, nor being less than he professed himself, hs 
was at length placed in the chair of President, at the 
turning point of his nation's history * * * Never 
was any one, set in such high place and surrounded 
with so many motives of furious detraction, so little im- 
peached of aught blameworthy. * * * He had an in- 
tellect as well as goodness. Cautiously conservative, 
fearing to pass the limits of established systems, seeking 
the needful amendments rather from growth than altera- 
tion, he proved himself in the crisis the very man best 
suited for his post. * * * The firmness with which 
he refused to proceed faster than the progress of events 
warranted was equaled by the tenacity with which he 
refused to retire from the position he had at last thought 
It right to take up. — (London Daily News, April 27, 1865.) 

It is given to; few men to triumph over the most 
formidable obstacles as Mr. Lincoln triumphed, by the 
mere force of honesty and sagacity. His simple integ- 
rity of purpose, firmness of will, patience, humanity, 
and the deep sense of accountability which marked every 
important act, united to form a character which has 
steadily and visibly gained upon the minds and hearts, 
not of his own countrymen alone, but also of the world. 
* * * In this country Mr. Lincoln's name Is men- 
tioned with regret by many who four years ago half 
believed that he was the wretched imbecile he was de- 
scribed to be by the Richmond press. — (London Daily 
Hews, April 27, 1865.) 

His reputation is based upon tried goodness and 
proven greatness. * * * He was raised up in a 
season of danger to be a guide to the State in its diffi- 
culties and perils. With steady and unfaltering purpose 
he fulfilled his alloted task. * * * In the midst of 
the raging storm of battle, when all the land was con- 
vulsed ; * * * and at the no less dangerous crisis 
when the tide of victory set in, * * * he was true 
to his duty, and true to that high mission from which 
his sense of duty derived its Inspiration. Fearless In 
danger, unshaken in adversity, hopeful when the bravest 
all but despaired ; calm amidst the wild contagious ex- 
citement of success ; as imperturable in the general ecsta- 
cies produced by triumph as he was resolute In the gen- 
eral despondency produced by misfortune, he displayed 
from first to last the rare qualities of a good man and 
a wise ruler. His simplicity of character was mistaken 
for Ignorance ; his firmness of purpose was characterized 


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as obstinacy ; his perseverance was regarded as Infatu- 
ation. * * * Lincoln had not fallen before the cause 
to which he devoted his life had been rendered secure. — 
(Ulster Observer, Belfast, April 27, 1865.) 

When President Lincoln penned the sentence which 
liberated forever millions of his fellow creatures from 
bondage, and gave the deathblow to slavery throughout 
the world, he did an act which entitled him to everlasting 
fame. — (Ulster Observer, Belfast, April 27, 1865.) 

The civilized world regarded with admiration the mag- 
nanimity which rose spontaneously, with the haughtiness 
of virtue, in the breast of the Northern people, and 
turned the occasion of victory into an opportunity to 
display, not merely mercy, but of brotherly sympathy 
and love. — (Ulster Observer, Belfast, April 27, 1865.) 

We had a deep respect and love for this man. who, 
quietly and unpretendingly, was doing a great work. If 
he was not a man of brilliant qualities or showy accom- 
plishments, yet he possessed great grasp and force of in- 
tellect, honesty and singleness of purpose, unsullied in- 
tegrity, unshaken perserverance, firmness in authority, 
an ambition utterly unselfish, the qualities, in short, 
which go to make the truest and noblest patriot. — 
(Bradford Review, April 29, 1865.) 

All lament the good and great statesman. We doubt 
whether modern history contains a grander character 
than the humble lawyer of Illinois. In genius and a 
deep insight into the political future Abraham Lincoln 
was far from deficient. In high moral qualities he was 
unsurpassed by any public character of the age. His 
hands were as free from corruption as his generous soul 
was indisposed to harshness. * * * His public virtues 
shone out as brightly as his private worth, and both 
made him the best beloved man in the United States. — 
(The Freeman's Journal, Dublin, April 28, 1865.) 

In an age teaming with intellectual genius and refine- 
ment, Abraham Lincoln, the humble woodman, was called 
to play an arduous, noble, and conspicuous part in the 
great drama of civilization and progress. — (Dublin Re- 
former, April 29, 1865.) 

* * * Intense admiration we have ever had of the 
calm, Christian, enlightened statesmanship of "honest 
old Abe," his firm and inflexible determination to abide 
by the Constitution of his country, and at the same time 
to blot out, through that Constitution, the infamous 
system and institution of slavery. — (Caledonian Mercury, 
Edinburgh, April 27, 1865.) 

To us Abraham Lincoln has always seemed the finest 
character produced by the American war, on either side 
of the struggle. He was great not merely by the force 
of genius — and only the word genius will describe the 


power of intellect by which he guided himself and 
his country through such a crisis — but by the simple, 
natural strength and grandeur of his character. * * * 
He seemed to arrive by instinct — by the instinct of a 
noble, unselfish and manly nature 1 — at the very end which 
the highest of political genius, the longest political ex- 
perience, could have done no more than reach. He bore 
himself fearlessly in danger, calmly in difficulty, modestly 
in success. The world was beginning to know how good, 
and, in the best sense, how great a man he was. — (Lon- 
don Morning Star, April 27, 1865.) 

Raised from the ranks of the common people to take 
upon himself the responsibilities of the most gigantic 
struggle the world has ever witnessed between the forces 
of freedom and slavery, he guided the destinies of his 
country with unwavering hand through all the terrors 
and dangers of the conflict, and placed her so high and 
safe among the nations of the world that the dastards 
of despotism dare no longer question the strength and 
majesty of freedom. — London Morning Star. 

He boasted not of victory nor sought to arrogate to 
himself the honors of the great deeds which have re- 
sounded through the world ; but gentle and modest as he 
was great and good, he took the chaplet from his own 
brow to place it on the lowly graves of the soldiers. — 
(London Morning Star, Apr. 27.) 

In truth a man like Abraham Lincoln is claimed by 
humanity as her own. — London Morning Star, April 27. 

Only Washington among the Presidents of the United 
States could compare with Lincoln. — The Spectator, April 
29, 1865. 

If there ever was a leader in a civil conflict who 
shunned acrimony and eschewed passion, it was he. In 
a time of much cant and affectation, he was simple, un- 
affected, true, transparent. In a season of many mis- 
takes he was never known to be wrong. — Liverpool Daily 
Post, April 27, 1865. 

The memory of his statesmanship, translucent in the 
highest degree * * * will live in the hearts and minds 
of the Anglo-Saxon race as one of the noblest examples 
of that race's highest qualities. * * * Add to this that 
Abraham Lincoln was the kindest and pleasantest of 
men ; that he has raised himself from nothing, and that 
to the last no grain of conceit or ostentation was found 
in him, and there stands before the world a man whose 
like we shall not soon look again. — Liverpool Daily 
Post, April 27, 1865. 


As a man of great good sense and cool judgment, he 
was able to read the signs of the times with more clear- 
ness than most of his contemporaries, and thus acquiring 
the rare faculty of not only doing the right thing but 
of doing the right thing at the right time. — Leeds Mer- 
cury, April 27, 1865. 


His firm and consistant maintenance of the Nation's 
cause, his clear understanding of the great questions at 
issue, and his unwearied efforts, while enforcing the laws, 
to deprive the conflict of all bitterness, were all so 
happily blended with a reliance upon Divine Providence 
as to elevate him to a high rank among successful states- 
men. His name is, hereafter, identified with emancipa- 
tion. — S. Wells Williams, (U. 8. Minister to China, 1865.) 

If there is anything wanting, to complete the fame of 
Lincoln, it may be found in the crown of martyrdom with 
which an eventful career in a most eventful epoch has 
been closed, honored for his virtues, and lamented for 
his "taking off." — James E. Harvey, (Ambassador to 
Portugal), 1865. 

* * * The great and good man, who died as he had 
lived — faithful to his trust and at the post of duty. * * * 
In Europe, as in America, enlightened public opinion has 
already inscribed among the most illustrious names on 
the roll of fame our martyred President. — Rufus King, 
(U. S. Legation at Rome, 1865.) 

The death of this Chief Magistrate, elevated by the 
force of great events to a place in history not less than 
that of every other human name which the annals of the 
race records, and filling that broad place worthily, has 
sent a shock of horror through Europe. * * * Speak- 
ing from Europe, I may say: Already that assassin blow 
has done more to finish up the sympathies of men for the 
defenders of slavery and oligarchy than all that has hap- 
pened before or since. * * * The night of April 14th, 
1865, has dispelled forever the mistaken sympathies 
which the audacity of April 13, 1861, generated, and has 
left the enemies of human prosrress naked before the 
world. This in Europe * * * A citizen President trium- 
phant over the slaveholding patrician element, but himself 
obedient to law, is the result of our people's virtue and his 
own — God's instrument in a work which makes his name 
immortal. — Horatio J. Perry, (U. S. Minister to Spain.) 

Widespread was the fame achieved by President Lin- 
coln, and earnest was the admiration felt for the services 
he had rendered to his race and to his countrv. even in 
this remote corner of Europe. He had won the respect 
and admiration of the world by the successful issue of the 


struggle he had directed against that foe, alike of hu- 
manity and America — Southern slavery — * * * His 
name and fame will be inseparably associated with the 
great events in which he was so conspicuous an actor. 
* * * He fell a victim to his devotion to the cause of 
liberty and human rights, and he will take his place In 
history among the martyrs whom universal humanity 
honors as its benefactors. President Lincoln's course of 
action had been so honorable to himself, and so useful 
to his country, that he had won even the respect of the 
enemies of the noble cause he championed. He lived 
long enough to refute the calumnies of his foreign assail- 
ants, and to confound the wicked schemes of domestic 
traitors. * * * His steady perseverance in the cause 
of right, his unshaken faith in ultimate success, and the 
stern loyalty he exhibited to the Constitution, astonished 
the European world and enforced its admiration of one 
of the grandest exhibitions of moral courage and of con- 
scientious discharge of duty to be found in ancient or 
modern history. — E. Joy Morris, (U. 8. Minister at Con- 

In the raging of political tornadoes, he bore himself 
with the passionless calm of some abstraction and 
divested of prejudice or favor devoted himself to the 
large ends of human freedom and national life. I feel 
that his death was the seal of the deeds of his life, and 
he closed his eyes on great purposes achieved to open 
tnem upon the immortal crown. — James H. Campbell, 
(Minister resident, Stockholm.) 

The millions of America who loved Mr. Lincoln as a 
father and revered him as the purpst and greatest of 
patriotic statesmen, could scarcely have mourned him 
more profoundly than did the masses in Europe. Espe- 
cially dear was he to the citizens of this little republic 
of Switzerland. * * The events of his life, and the 
moment and manner of his death will enshrine him in the 
pantheon of history as the most illustrious character. — 
George O. Fogg, (Resident Minister, Berne, Sivitzerland, 

The royal government is profoundly moved by the In- 
telligence which reached us yesterday of the assassina- 
tion of President Lincoln. In view of the so happily 
existing relations between Prussia and the United States, 
the undersigned cannot forbear to express to their govern- 
ment the sincere sympathy of the royal srovernment. — 
Otto von Bismarck, Berlin, April 27th, 1865. 

The man who accomplished such great deeds from the 
simple desire conscientiously to perform his duty, the 
man who never wished to be more nor less than the most 
faithful servant of the people, — the man will find his 
own glorious place in the pages of history. In the deep- 





- - - ' 7 > 





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est reverence I bow my head before this modest great- 
ness, and I think it is especially agreeable to the spirit 
of our nation, to pay the tribute of veneration to such 
greatness, exalted as it is by simplicity and modesty. — 
Deputy Dr. William] Loewe, Prussian House of Deputies. 

Whatever may have been done in the United States, 
Mr. Lincoln is being canonized in Europe. A like unanim- 
ity of eulogy of sovereigns, parliaments, corporate bodies, 
by the people, and by all public journals, was never be- 
fore witnessed on this continent. The most truthful and 
eloquent testimonials are now given by some of those 
that belied him most while living. — Berlin, May tfh. N. 
B. Judd, U. S. Minister to Prussia, to Mr. Hunter, Wash. 

The very high qualities which had adorned the illus- 
trious dead, * * * had won for him throughout the 
world, and particularly in this republic, the purest sym- 
pathy and admiration. — Juan Antonio Pezet, President 
of Peru. Lima, Peru, May 28, 1865. 

* * * All peoples in both hemispheres rise with one 
voice to condemn the cowardly assassins who have black- 
ened the brilliant pages of that wonderful war just when 
the country already saw peace on the horizon, and when, 
undoubtedly, that peace is owing to the efforts, the con- 
stancy, and the skill with which the lamented Mr. Lin- 
coln has directed those events. — Count of Yistahermosa — 
in and, in behalf of the Spanish Senate. 

Mr. Lincoln's firm and resolute character, his good 
common sense, and his associations, acquired general 
esteem for him In Europe. — Count Manderstrom, Minister 
Foreign Affairs, Stockholm, Sweden. 

Abraham Lincoln, the mighty leader of these great 
events, the manly model of civic virtue, of pure and 
noble humanity, will be held holy in the memory of the 
inhabitants of his native land, and be worshipped by the 
world. — Buren, June 5th, 1865. Johann Pflster, in behalf 
of Swiss People. 

That which won for Mr. Lincoln most admiration in 
Europe was his modesty in expression and firmness in 
action. * * * Lincoln was the best friend I ever 
had. He was the most conscientious man I ever knew, 
and ranks with Washington in genius, public service and 
patriotism. — Cassius M. Clay, Ambassador, Russia. 

The name of Abraham Lincoln will be cherished so long 
as we have a history, as one of the wisest, purest, and 
noblest magistrates, as one of the greatest benefactors to 
the human race that have ever lived. I believed that the 
foundation of his whole character was a devotion to 
duty which enabled him to discharge the functions of his 


great office, in one of the most terrible periods of the 
world's history, with such rare sagacity, patience, cheer- 
fulness and courage. * * * I have followed his career with 
an ever increasing veneration for a character and an intel- 
lect which seemed to expand, and to grow more vigorous 
the greater the demand that was made upon their 
strength. — J. Lothrop Motley, (U. S. Minister to Austria.) 

I think it is generally conceded that the death of no 
man has ever occurred that awakened such prompt and 
universal sympathy, at once among our own people and 
among foreign nations. Even here in foreign lands, 
what American has not been surprised by the universal 
demonstration elicited from all parties and from every 
class, from the humblest and from the most exalted. * * * 
Such a tribute was never paid to our country before ; 
such homage was never paid to any other American. 

* * * His death and the time and manner of it 
seemed to have rendered his whole public career luminous, 
and to make it clear that he had been fighting the fight 
of humanity, of justice and of civilization. * * * His 
public and private virtues have secretly but steadily 
been graving themselves upon the hearts of mankind. — 
We, his compatriots, know best what a rare collection of 
public and private virtues went down Into the grave 
with Abraham Lincoln. * * * That simple-hearted and 
single-minded patriot has been transfigured, and has 
taken his place in history as the impersonation of a 
cause, which, hereafter, it will be blasphemy to assail. — 
John Bigelow, (U. 8. Minister to France.) 

The man who has fallen was immolated for no act of 
his own. It may well be doubted whether during his 
whole career he ever made a single personal enemy. In 
this peculiarity he shone prominently among statesmen. — 
Abraham Lincoln was a faithful exponent of the senti- 
ments of a whole people. The ball that penetrated his 
brain was addressed to the heart of each and every one 
of us. He has paid the penalty for executing our will. 

* * * It is one of the peculiar merits of Mr. Lincoln that 
he knew how to give shape, in action, to the popular 
feelings as they developed themselves under his observa- 
tion. He never sought to lead, but rather to follow, and 
thus he succeeded in the difficult task of successfully 
combining conservatism with progress. His labor was 
always to improve. Hence it was that he conducted a 
war of unexampled magnitude, always bearing in mind 
the primary purpose for which it had been commenced, 
at the same time associating with it broader ones as the 
opportunity came. He had pledged himself at the outset 
to accomplish certain objects, and he never forgot that 
pledge. * * * The time had at last arrived when he 
might honestly claim that it would be fulfilled. It was in 
that moment he was taken away. On the very same day 
of the year when the National flag, which Just four 


years before, had been lowered to triumphant enemies 
at Fort Sumter, was once more lifted to its original posi- 
tion by the hand of the same officer who had suffered the 
indignity that commenced the war, Abraham Lincoln 
fell. His work was done. He had fought the good fight ; 
he had finished his course : — and now we may well cry 
out : "Go up, go up," with your gory temples twined 
with the evergreen symbols of a patriot's wreath, and 
bearing the double glory of a martyr's crown. Go up, 
while for us here remaining on earth, your memory shall 
be garnered in the hearts of us and our latest posterity. 
in common with the priceless treasure heaped up by the 
great fathers of the Republic, and close by that of the 
matchless Washington. * * * Let us draw together as 
one man in the tribute of our admiration of one of the 
purest, one of the most single-minded, and noble-hearted 
patriots that ever ruled over the people of any land. — 
Charles Frances Adams. (At meeting of Americans, resi- 
dent in London, St. James Hall, May 1st, 1865.) 


The battle of freedom is to be fought out on principle. 

There is both a power and a magic in popular opinion. 

I have no policy. My hope is to save the Union. I 
do the best I can to-day with the hope that when to- 
morrow comes I am ready for its duties. — (Said to Gen- 
eral ,T. M. Palmer.) 

If I know my heart my gratitude is free from any 
taint of personal triumph. 

I go for all sharing the privileges of the Government 
who assist in bearing its burdens. Conseanently I go for 
admitting all whites to the right of suffrage who pay 
taxes or bear arms. — by no means excluding women. 

It is no pleasure for me to triumph over any one. 

I am the peoples' attorney in this great affair. I am 
trying to do the best I can for my client. — the country. 

Every man is said to have his peculiar ambition. 
Whether it be true or not I can say. for one. I have no 
other so great as that of being truly esteemed by my 
fellow men by rendering myself worthy of their esteem. 

If he has no friend I will be his friend. 

We should avoid planting too many thorns in the bosom 
of society. 

If any man ceases to attack me I never remember the 
past, against him. 

If there were more praying and less swearing it would 
be better for our country. 

I am satisfied that when the Almighty wants me to do 
or not to do a particular thing He finds a way of letting 
me know It. 


I shall go to God with my sorrows. 

We shall sooner have a fowl by hatching the egg than 
by smashing it. — (Said in reference to the La. Con.) 

The discipline and character of the National forces 
should not suffer, nor the cause they defend be imperiled 
by the profanation of the day, or the name of the Most 

War does not admit of holidays. 

The honor is all yours, for I believe none of us went 
further than to acquiesce. (To Sherman on capture of 

No part of the honor for plan or execution is mine. 
(After Appomattix.) 

With malice towards none, with charity for all. 

While I hold myself, without mock modesty, the 
humblest of all individuals that have ever been elevated 
to the Presidency, I have a more difficult task to per- 
form than any one of them. 

I don't believe it is wise to swap horses while crossing 
a stream. 

Now I am about to call upon the band for a tune that 
our adversaries have endeavored to appropriate. But we 
fairly captured it yesterday, and the Att'y General gave 
me his legal opinion that it is now our property. So I 
ask the band to play "Dixie." (Said at close of address 
on Appomatox surrender. 

A private soldier has as much right to justice aa a 
Major General. 

Die when I may I want it said of me by those who 
know me best, that I always plucked a thistle and 
planted a flower when I thought a flower would grow. 

God selects his own instruments and sometimes they 
are queer ones. He chose me to steer the ship through 
a great crisis. 

I never shall live out the four years of my term. When 
the Rebellion is crushed my work is done. 

Reasonable men have long since agreed that intemper- 
ance is one of the greatest, if not the greatest, of all 
evils of mankind. 

No man resolved to make the most of himself can 
spare time for personal contention. 

If slavery is not wrong nothing Is wrong. 

I have not willingly planted a thorn in any man's 

Let us have faith that right makes might ; and. In 
that faith let us to the end dare to do our duty as we 
understand it. 


I know that the Lord is always on the side of the 
right. But it is my constant anxiety and prayer that I 
and this Nation shall be on the Lord's side. 

I have always made it a rule if people will not turn 
out for me, I will for them. If I didn't there would be 
a collision. 

Better give your path to a dog than be bitten by him 
in contending for the right. Even killing the dog would 
not cure the bite. 

You can fool some of the people all the time ; you can 
fool all the people some of the time ; but you can't fool 
all the people all the time. 

I protest against the counterfeit logic which concludes 
that because I do not want a black woman for a slave I 
must necessarily want her for a wife. * * * I shall 
never marry a negress, but I have no objection to any one 
else doing so. If a white man wants to marry a negro 
woman, let him do so, — if the negro woman can stand it. 

I shall do nothing in malice. What I deal with is too 
vast for malicious dealing. 

Even though much provoked let us do nothing through 
passion and ill temper. 

Gold is good in its place ; but living, brave and 
patriotic men are better than gold. 

Whatever shall appear to be God's will I do. 

I am a patient man, always ready to forgive on the 
Christian terms of repentence, and also to give ample 
time for repentence. 

The severest justice may not always be the best policy. 

The world is in want of a good definition for the word 
liberty. * * * The shepherd drives the wolf from the 
sheep's throat, for which the sheep thanks the shepherd 
as a liberator, while the wolf denounces him for the 
same act, as the destroyer of liberty. 

The present moment finds me at the White House, yet 
there is as good a chance for your children as there was 
for my father's. 

Labor is superior to capital and deserves much the 
higher consideration. 

No men living are more worthy to be trusted than 
those who toil up from poverty. 

Moral cowardice is something which I think I never 

I authorize no bargains, and will be bound by none. 
(Said in reference to nomination.) 

I was losing interest in politics when the repeal of the 
Missouri Compromise aroused me again. (To E. B. 


If there is a man that can push our armies forward 
one mile further or one hour faster, he Is the man that 
ought to be in my place. (Thurlow Weed.) 

Wealth is simply a superfluity of what we don't need. 

I do not think much of a man who is not wiser to-day 
than he was yesterday. I have always found that mercy 
bears richer fruit than strict justice. 

The plainest print cannot be read through a gold eagle. 

The contract awarded to me on the 6th of November, 
1860, was a big job. 

I do not seek applause, nor to amuse the people ; I 
want to convince them. 

We shall not fail, if we stand firm, we shall not fail. 
Wise counsels may accelerate, or mistakes delay, but 
sooner or later, the victory is sure to come. (June, 
1858, at Springfield.) 

The great job is finished. I cannot but congratulate 
all present, myself, the country, and the whole world, on 
this great moral victory. (On passage of resolution for 
Constitutional amendment abolishing slavery.) 

It really hurts me very much to suppose that I have 
wronged anybody on earth. 

You may have a wen or a cancer upon your person, 
and not be able to cut it out lest you bleed to death ; 
but surely, It is no way to cure It, to ingraft and spread 
it over your whole body, — that is no proper way of treat 
ing what you regard a wrong. 

It matters not what becomes of me. — If I go down, I 
intend to go down like the Cumberland with my colors 

One war at a time. 

He who would be no slave must have no slave. 

I am altogether unconscious of having attempted double 
dealing anywhere. 

I am always willing to forgive on the Christian terms 
of repentence, still I must save this government If 

If they decline what I suggest you scarcely need ask 
what I will do. 

It is good policy never to plead what you need not, lest 
you oblige yourself to prove what you cannot. 

By a course of reasoning, Euclid proves that the angles 
of a triangle are equal to two right angles. Now if you 
undertake to disprove that proposition, would you prove 
it false by calling Euclid a liar? 

Governor, — I'll make the ground of this country too 
hot for the foot of a slave, if he" — (a free negro seized in 
New Orleans), "be not returned to his home in Illinois." 


7 l,3DZ9r<DW,£nO V\ 



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